Hellen’s Story


Mother and hairdresser

story 3Hellen has overcome tragic obstacles in her short life to make a positive impact on her family. Through abusive circumstances, she became a single mother at age 16 and was forced to drop out of school to care for her child and ill father. Panua helped support her as she worked to get her family healthy and keep them together.

Once she was ready, Panua helped Hellen enroll in vocational training to become a hairdresser, with her daughter in tow. She completed her training and began working as a hairdresser, saving as much money as possible so that one day, she could open her own salon.

Through encouragement, training and mentoring from the Panua program, Hellen has established a hair salon and has even expanded sales in her salon with boutique clothing items, with the support of her Panua Community Group.