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The poem below was written by Emma, a resident of one of the Wesley Mission homes PIF help build. Emma has eloquently worded the impact of a caring a nurturing environment on her life.

Let me tell you a story
about this girl I once knew
Who was Lost,
& Used

And like many,
She had dreams…

Dreams of a life that felt so far away,
It was out of reach
Like a fairy tale she read when she was only little…

Of a family, where she was loved
Dreams of a life where she was happy,
And didn’t have to worry,
Dreams of finishing school and going to university…

Then, one day, she knew just what she had to do

It was hard at first, you could even say scary…
But the decision to move was anything but blurry
Walking through the gates of Lynford Lodge wasn’t easy
But quickly, it became home,
Where I slowly pieced
Myself back together,
with help from those who
felt like family
They eventually became my family…

Kerryn, a woman of strength who guided me and nurtured me like a mother should

And Manuel, who made me laugh with his dance moves and dad jokes – teaching me to laugh, and be happy again

They both taught me things, life lessons I’ll hold onto forever, and Introduced me to their land
A place that became my sanctuary, and a place of peace – a place that changed my life

Through the laughs, and the tears,
It felt like I had known them for years…

For the first time in a long time,
I felt happy,
And appreciated for all that I was
I learnt to love myself again,

I blossomed and flourished
And grew into the woman I had one day hoped to be…

Let me tell you about the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been and the things that I’ve seen

I wouldn’t be where I am today, if it wasn’t for them and if it wasn’t for my experiences

So thank you to Wesley Mission,
To Stacey, who from the beginning, was always there for me and made me laugh

To Rose, who helped me through the toughest times and guided me

To Mollie, who taught me to be my authentic self (no matter how loud)

And To Kerryn & Manuel, who we’re like parents and who inspired me, and we’re there by my side through everything.

You’ve all changed my life,
and played a part in
the person I am today.