In January, Pathway’s Wāhine Reintegration Navigators welcomed new Pathway staff to the site of our residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme near Christchurch.
He Kete Oranga o Te Mana Wāhine is a partnership between Pathway, Odyssey Trust House and Purapura Whetu, housing the South Island’s only dedicated programme of its kind.
After being welcomed with a waiata, three of the women taking part in the 16-week programme bravely spoke about their journeys prior to being referred to He Kete. Tragically, the common theme was they grew up around drugs and battled addiction in their early teens. That dependence quickly spiraled out of control and with a lack of support, turned to crime to support their habits.
A couple of the wāhine were undertaking the programme for a second time after realising they wanted to be part of it for genuine reasons rather than, in their own words, “tick the boxes’’ to satisfy the justice system.
They wanted to get clean for the sake of loved ones and were on the right track on their road to recovery.
It was truly inspiring to see just how determined they are to leave their past history of substance abuse behind, so they can live life to the fullest and contribute positively to the community.
The facility, which features simple but comfortable rooms and a large lounge area, kitchen and dining space, can accommodate up to 12 women. There is a small gym with treadmills, weights and a rowing machine, as well as a vegetable garden and tranquil green spaces for them to take time out and contemplate.
They are supported by a team of clinicians and support workers who are available around the clock if need be.
It was heartening to see the rapport between the women, and Abii and Milly, our Wāhine Reintegration Navigators, who do an amazing job. They are an integral part of the Pathway whānau.
He Kete is an essential arm of Pathway’s extensive support services, providing wāhine the opportunity to make a fresh start.