ManaaKi Mai – Cherish me, look after me…
The loss of a child is something no parent should have to go through. A māmā from Rotorua who lost her son to suicide has had to work through the pain of her loss. Then, a month after her son took his own life, this sorrow-filled māmā welcomed her son’s baby, her mokopuna, into this world. This beautiful gift came bitter sweet as she knew this was a gift her son was unable to receive, and would never be a part of this baby’s journey in life. This event ignited a passion within her, which helped her transform her grief, into a heartfelt passion to help others.
The ManaaKi Mai programme was developed in response to this tragic event and looks at sharing experiences to work through grief. The primary focus for this māmā is to work with whānau and the community effected by suicide, with the aim to be better equipped to work through their own grief and loss. Long term she would like to ensure that her mokopuna, and future mokopuna, would not have to go through dark times alone. That they would feel empowered and know how to access support if they need it.
The ManaaKi Mai initiative facilitates wānanga at 3 different locations, Rotorua, Wellington and Te Taitokerau. The programme looks to empower and educate whānau on suicide and prevention, providing support and tools and knowledge on how to utilise the resources they have access to.
At each wānanga, whānau, hapū and iwi members are able to address and work through lived experiences. ManaaKi Mai – Cherish Me, looks at transforming the pain whānau might be feeling, to educate whānau on prevention measures and awareness aspiring for a better and brighter future.
*This whānau initiative is proudly supported by Te Au (and Te Rau Ora) through the Māori Suicide Prevention Fund (2020-2021).