Le Mana Pasifika team supports over 300 families during COVID-19

CMY’s Le Mana Pasifika team supports Pasifika youth in a range of settings, focusing on the South East of Melbourne and the city’s West.

When the pandemic hit, the team received funding from the Victorian Government to ensure young people and their families were supported during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“The Family Support Package helped ease the financial strain and burden on Pasifika families who weren’t eligible for government support due to their New Zealand citizenship and visa status.”

Temese Leilua, Le Mana Pasifika Program Development Leader

The team worked tirelessly over the last few months to deliver the Family Support Packages to Pasifika communities, which had some amazing outcomes:

  • 310 families supported
  • 1,155 children within those families
  • $120,000+ in Coles vouchers distributed
  • 153 laptops provided to young people for school work and staying connected.

Through their work, the Le Mana Pasifika team found that many households had multiple families living together and had little to no incoming during the COVID-19 lockdown. This resulted in additional pressure and stress on family members to support each other. Through the assessment process, the team was also able to identify other needs families had and were able to connect them with the appropriate support.

Community member Christina, whose son Silao received support through the package, said:

“The grant has been an amazing opportunity and comes at a time when work comes to a halt and studies are done virtually. It has been stressful seeing studies being pushed back when assignments are all due. This grant has enabled my son to complete his final assignment for his last trimester of his uni life.”

The support package was the first time many families received any government assistance as their visa status meant they were not eligible for support payments. This helped relieve some of the pressures COVID-19 presented, and the team noted that it had reduced stress and anxiety within the community.

The Pasifika community hopes for support to continue to grow post-lockdown, as there are still many gaps in support available for the community.  

Read Poasa’s story on SBS News about how he was supported to stay in school

Find out more about our Le Mana (Empower) Pasifika Project