“If I had not left that morning, I may not be alive today. I called Women’s Refuge that morning and they came to support me. I didn’t need to stay in a safe house as they worked to find me a safe place within my network of friends. Women’s Refuge walked the journey with me. With absolute humility I took on board all the things that Women’s Refuge recommended. I attended their programmes and this helped me to keep my children safe. Now 15 years later I am a successful businesswoman. Last week I had a talk with my two teens. They had spent some holiday time with their dad. My girl started crying. She said, “mum, I am so glad you left him, thank you.” That’s the best reason for my decision. I have turned the impossible situation into an opportunity for a better life. I left with nothing 15 years ago now I have a new partner, several successful businesses and two confident and self-assured teenagers and I talk to women to affirm their experiences so they can follow their dreams. Thank you Women’s Refuge!”

Knowing that Women’s Refuge intervention can change a life like Gina’s is all the motivation the organisation needed to make a recent decision to establish an endowment fund. “Although we like to think we could work ourselves out of a job, the reality is that we know our services will continue to be vital for many years into the future,” said Dr Ang Jury, Chief Executive. “Hearing comments like this from children is especially encouraging” said Dr Jury as she explained the growth in working with children over the past few years. “While we have always supported children with their mums, it has become increasingly evident to us that children need specifically targeted help and this is now a large focus of our work” she says.

Over the years Women’s Refuge has become more and more sophisticated in its fundraising, and has a significant database of loyal supporters. Creating the endowment fund is a tool for those supporters who want to know their contribution will be a lasting legacy, not just for today, but for the future, said Ang. “Knowing a better future is possible, as with Gina’s story, is what we know will keep our supporters on board.”

Women’s Refuge has chosen Nikau Foundation to establish an endowment fund on its behalf.

Once the fund has reached its investment target Nikau will distribute the interest to the National Collective for onward distribution to its network of Refuges around the country.

“Creating an endowment fund is just another prudent step for our organisation” explained Ang. “We want to be known as an organisation that uses its supporters’ donations carefully and in a way that will be most effective for the women and children we work with. We want people to recognise us as an organisation that can continue long into the future because our work is so important. Our first priority is helping women and children to rebuild safe futures and that’s why long term sustainable fundraising is so important to us.”

If you are interested in making a donation to this fund please email info@nikaufoundation.org.nz