Ruta Aloisio knows there are plenty of issues that need dealing with in her Ōtara community and got to the stage where she wanted to do something to help.
So she enrolled in the Level 4 Certificate in Bicultural Social Services – Manaaki Tangata programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Māngere and says it’s given her the skills to help not only her community, but also to help herself.
“I just wanted to do something to give back to the community because I know that social services work around youth and children and I thought it would be nice for me to actually study and then help out,” she says.
“I see a lot of poverty and lots of abuse and all that going on around here and I just wanted my children to grow up in a safe environment.”
That safe environment begins at home and Ruta says since she started studying, her relationship with her whānau is much better.
“I came in with a lot of baggage and so, throughout the course I have been sharing and letting it off my shoulders so now the weight’s gone. Before I joined, I used to yell at my kids but now, I haven’t really shouted at them, I just tell them nicely. The change of voice changes the way they react, so the bond between me and my children since I’ve joined the course has been great, it’s changed a lot.”
Ruta hopes to continue studying towards the Bachelor of Bicultural Social Work, not only to further build her skills but to be a positive example to her whānau.
“My children are seeing that I’m eager to get educated and they’re like ‘I want to be like mum’.”
And Ruta says others in her community would also benefit from following the path she has taken.
“I know other people, they have problems they’re going through right now. I tell them they should take this course because it would really help. Because the problems I’m seeing, taking this course is going to take that pressure off and it’s going to help you a lot.”