Our Stories




Literacy and Numeracy (Prison)

One of the learners who was in high/medium securty came to the pre-hospitality course and asked how it would help him. Steve said that when he was reclassified to low sec, if he had the unit standard he would be able to get a job in the prison kitchen. Shortly after the course finished he passed the unit standard (167) and a couple of weeks after that was reclassified. When Steve saw him just before the Christmas break, he had just started his new job in the kitchen and was very happy.


Client Support Services

Anna-Kristy went to visit a new mum to the centre as part of the service offered to new parents/whānau that attend Little Citizens. She is a young mum of two children under the age of five. She is currently living in an overcrowded house in South Dunedin where she is sharing a room with her partner and two children. She is desperately trying to find somewhere else to live, and has rung Housing New Zealand and had an interview assessment. She has put herself on the waiting list for a property, and is continuing to look at private rentals although she does not feel she can afford them at this time. The mum was also really interested in finding some regular parenting support with her two young children and has been referred to Family Start to engage with a worker. Due to the overcrowding in the house the client is unable to make food last as it is eaten. She requested a referral to a food bank, and picked this up herself. Update: After many weeks of being on a waiting list she decided to visit the local MP in South Dunedin to discuss her situation. She recently had a call from Housing New Zealand and has been told she can now move into a housing New Zealand house. She is happy with this news as it allows her and her children the space they need.


Client Support Services

Sandra* presented at the office with her two young children looking for support as she had been ordered back to NZ from her homeland by her ex-husband who had actioned the Hague Convention. Sandra has no family supports in New Zealand and very limited social connections. She had been ostracised by her ex-husband’s family and did not feel like she could trust anyone. Sandra was feeling isolated, vulnerable and uncertain of how she was going to move forward. After meeting with the Mission Sandra has been able to focus on what she needed to do legally in terms of her situation and to plan a way forward for her and the children. Sandra has prioritised her immediate goals. She has enrolled her children into an early learning centre, is applying for jobs and is looking at what her options are in terms of re-establishing herself in a country she is not from. Sandra has begun to feel more positive about her situation and is building confidence as she negotiates the world around her. (*not her real name).


Beyond 10 Streets

Since the end of November there has been quite a lot happening with the formation of a South Dunedin Library Action Group. A meeting, with a select few residents, has taken place at the Hub. Although a small gathering, one resident put her hand up to take leadership of the group, tentative strategies were talked about trying to raise the profile of this community need, and contact details were exchanged. A second meeting was scheduled for 24th January 2017. Nick Orbell, who is now the new Community Advisor from the DCC, is interested in coming along in a listening and supportive capacity, he has offered the group an introduction to Bernie Hawke (the person in charge of the Library/Hub project at the DCC) when they are ready for it. Mike Tonks, from Catholic Social Services, was also contacted and is keen to provide a supportive role to the group at the next meeting. Craig Waterhouse (Chairperson of the South Dunedin Small Businesses Association) has also been approached, his response was very positive; he is unable to attend the meeting on the 24th but would like to be included in any future meetings. Those residents who registered an interest in being part of the group, but unable to attend, are going to be contacted and all are being encouraged to spread the word of the group and invite other residents to come along on the 24th January.


Little Citizens Kotuku Room

The children have arrived back in 2017 full of excitement for the upcoming year. We have a group of three children who turned five before the end of the year and have stayed at preschool until the school term starts in February so there are lots of farewell celebrations and mat times to be had. We have begun the year building on the children’s sense of belonging within the centre where the older Kotuku group have been drawing self-portraits and the Tui children have been enjoying seeing their pictures displayed within the classroom environment enabling them to see their friends and recognise their names which accompany their pictures. The children and staff continue to explore composting and vegetable growing where the children especially those in the Kotuku group have taken over the responsibility for reminding others what can and cannot be put in our composting container. Our carrots continue to grow in the root viewer enabling the children to view the entire process we just can’t wait until the carrots begin forming under the soil which shouldn’t be too far away as the root system is becoming quite established. On Monday we were excited to see our friend who has been away since last March undergoing extensive cancer treatment. It was great to see how well she is looking and that she can’t wait until she can begin back with us before heading to school once she is finished with all her treatments and tests.


Little Citizens Family/ Whānau Coordinator

The new dinner option is going really well - we have between 7 and 11 children staying for dinner each night. Feedback from parents has been positive.

• Parent 1: My child has starting eating and she will come home with a full tummy and is happy. If she hasn’t eaten much for dinner at centre ( this is rare) she will have a small supper before bed.
• Parent 2: Love, love, love it. my girls are eating and are happy and are now sleeping through the night because they have food in their tummy’s. They used to leave centre tired and too hungry to eat dinner so they would just fall asleep and then wake up In the middle of the night hungry.
• Grandparent 3: has asked Maree for the recipes her grandson likes. The family are happy that he has started eating at centre and occasionally he will want some of their dinner when he gets home.


Little Citizens The Kiwi Room

The children have settled very quickly into the routines in the Kiwi Room. They enjoy sharing mat time, and sit together on our purple mat, singing a welcoming naming song, action songs, waiata, counting songs, and our regular “Kina Kina” before kai time. We choose our mat time experiences carefully, for example the song “Wind the Bobbin Up” asks the children to “Point to the window, point to the door”, developing the children’s ability to point to and name objects (24 month Milestones), and engage in joint attention supporting language development (we are both pointing to and looking at the door) and responsive interactions through music. We have introduced named cups for drinking water throughout the day in the Kiwi Room, and the children have quickly learned to ask for a drink, to sit on the train mat to have a drink, and to clear their cup to the bench. We have great helpers who are able to clear younger children’s cups or bottles to the bench. We have had a lovely start to the year, and look forward hopefully to having some new enrolments, as a number of the tamariki turn two and will move in to the Tui Room in May.

Make a Donation

If you would like to contribute to making a change in our community, please click the Givealittle logo above and you will be directed to our secure donations page