Finding strength together as mothers

Huntly mother, Pamela South, shares her life-changing experience alongside other mothers involved in a prevention service for rangatahi in youth justice.

Published on
16 May 2019
Pamela and her son Myles
Myles and Pamela

Making a better life for our families

My name is Pamela South and I live in Huntly with my youngest son, Myles, who is 15.

Over the past two years, I’ve turned my life around alongside a group of mothers who are working together to make a better life for each other and our families.

We were connected through Oranga Rangatahi, a youth service in Huntly which our boys are involved in. It’s a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Huntly College, Police, the Ministry of Education and Waikato DHB, to guide our young people away from offending.

They are learning ways to control their energy and behaviour and focus on achieving their goals. We wanted to show our boys that although we struggle at times as mothers, we will do everything we can to support them on this journey.

The mothers support group in Huntly

Forming a support group for mothers

Oranga Rangatahi started a support group for mothers and we are now meeting every week to share stories and updates, connect to services we need, and support each other to achieve our goals.

Our boys even cooked dinner for all of us at a marae during one of their holiday programmes.

Both my parents have passed away and we don’t have whānau support, so to be able to connect with other families has been so crucial for us.

Likewise, having other mothers to talk to has taken a lot of pressure off me and life doesn’t feel as scary any more.

Pictured above - The mothers support group in Huntly

My message to other mothers who are struggling is don’t give up and keep striving for what you know your family can become.

Pamela South
Pamela South at the Australasian Youth Justice Conference in Sydney
Pamela shared her story at the Australasian Youth Justice Conference

Believing in myself and my whānau

I shared my experience at the Australasian Youth Justice Conference in Sydney earlier this month with support from Oranga Tamariki and the response was incredible.

I’d like to thank the team at Oranga Rangatahi for bringing us mothers together and putting your hearts and souls into motivating and inspiring our young men and women. I can't underline enough how much of a difference this has made for us.

Two years ago, I was a shell of my current self, but I now have the strength to push harder than I have ever pushed in my life to make my family wealthier in love, happiness and hope.

Myles is doing so well at school now and he has the skills he needs to break down barriers and achieve his goal of becoming a Police officer. I admire his determination to overcome the setbacks and struggles he’s had and I’m so proud of how far he has come.