Take a look at this video to see an in-depth story on Woven Earth featured on Stuff as part of their Breaking Silence series. We are helping change the #thenwhat - one family at a time.
We work on referrals from New Zealand Police, Victim Support, Shine and Refuges to help family violence survivors rebuild their lives by furnishing their houses with love and dignity to create a home for them to start the next chapter of their lives. It is one thing to secure a place to live but without the means or the capacity to fill that house with furnishings that enable parents and their children to live a dignified life where their basic needs are met can be a major factor in keeping victims safe and having a positive impact on their sense of self worth. All of these needs are critical to feeling worthy and have positive impact on their mental health.
When we are reaching out to the community to support us in filling the needs of these brave people we ask that they imagine what their life would look like if they lost their home and everything in it. Imagine having no money, losing people whom you thought were friends, and often family members and being homeless. The monumental task of providing for your children on top of managing your mental health , trauma and often intense court proceedings place survivors in a very vulnerable situation. Work and Income New Zealand have loans that have to be paid back on some items to furnish a home. The task of sourcing second hand or free items to fill a house is impossible with no supports or financial means to do so. We are working towards creating homes that are furnished with items that create a safe haven for families to heal, rebuild and grow from. We fill pantries, furniture, linen, home decor and more. This is an area where we need support to make this offering possible. We are looking for sponsors to help us fund a vehicle for furniture collection and delivery and a permanent storage space in the Auckland North Shore area to enable us to store the items people kindly donate to us.
We reach out to our Woven Earth community, businesses, corporate and passionate individuals to help us fill the need. Then we go to their property before they move in and transform it from a house of four walls to a safe haven - a home.
Children are often the hidden statistics in our reporting of family violence survivors. When a parent flees violence with their children they leave behind their favourite toys, their social circle and their life is tipped upside down. Although you can never replace their lost things it can be the simple things that will make their lives happier and have huge impact on their daily life and sense of worth and belonging. Family harm advocates and support workers identify the needs of the children who they are supporting.
In 2021 we launched our Children's Fund to help us go one step deeper in the help we give and be able to connect much needed funding to support the needs and interests of the children within the families we support.
Being part of extracurricular activities can help connect children to new communities and feel supported in their passions, having a bike, some toys, art supplies or whatever their individual needs are that would help them rebuild their lives we will work to fill these.
Endorsement from Tim Wetherall,
Child and Family Psychologist
" When families have to move from violent situations, there is typically limited time for planning, organising or gathering important objects. Children who are in these situations typically do not have time to gather or identify their most prized or cherished objects. Further they tend to miss objects, toys or animals when they have to leave them as it has been those non-judgmental things that have often provided them security during times of conflict of other angst. When those objects are lost, children can have increased rates of traumatic symptoms as those objects have acted as comfort in distressing times. Often these objects are not replaced and children may grieve their loss. By replacing these objects, the children can be helped to heal as it is a pathway to ownership.
Having a house set up which provides many of the practical objects that families in these situations need can help reduce the stress for those involved and makes the situation more liveable and a ‘home’. This allows for an increased rate in stabilisation for the children and family and drastically improves the speed and chances of recovery from traumatic experiences. It is the return to routine (or establishing a new routine) and having a safe and stable environment with safe relationships that will create better chances in the children not developing longer term issues with mental health concerns and having disruptive relationships. Having a home is a platform to help the healing process and by limiting one of the stressors associated in new home setup (furnishing etc) helps the families to focus upon healing and restoring their lives."
Tim Wetherall, Director
Child and Family Psychologist