Lovely has many challenges in her life, but in the words of her Bamara Support Mentor, Edith, “she has come a long way.”

Lovely has spent most of her life in the Philippines. She is the mother of four children, aged from nine to three. Her two eldest children still live in the Philippines and cannot join her in Darwin due to Covid restrictions.

“I miss them every day,” she says.

In 2018 she moved to Australia. She makes regular trips from the Top End to Adelaide when her youngest child requires treatment for a disability.

“I like Australia, and I like Darwin,” Lovely says.

“The weather is a lot like the Philippines. I am a little bit shy, but I am also now a little bit confident because I am studying. Edith encourages me to be confident with myself.”

Participation in the ParentsNext program, delivered by our team in Palmerston, has provided Lovely with many things, contact with friendly locals and an increased sense of self-worth.

“I like doing the activities with ParentsNext,” she says.

“They helped me to start studying, and now I am doing Certificate III in Individual Support. I am trying to prove to myself that I can do it.

“My goal is to get a job. I want to work for my children. When I finish my schooling, I will get proper work. Edith is a nice girl. She always tells me that I can do it, even if I’m saying that I don’t know if I can.”

Lovely has been an engaged participant in several pre-employment activities Bamara offers to prepare for the workplace. Bamara also connected Lovely to DriveSafe, a Government Driver Education and Licensing Program and helped in obtaining her Ochre Card (Working With Children) and a police check.

The support she has received to undertake her qualification training is the thing she prizes most.

Where others might find a reason to complain, Lovely only expresses gratitude. It is an approach to the world that will take her a long way in work and life.