Te Aroha Noa opens its family learning centre
A community group has bought up most of one side of a Highbury street in an effort to provide support and education to its neighbours.
Te Aroha Noa Community Services celebrated the opening of its new adult and family learning centre on Saturday.
The centre is the latest acquisition in the organisation's real estate portfolio which was started in 1989 by the Palmerston North Central Baptist Church.
Nos 16 and 18 Brentwood Ave were purchased and soon followed by Nos 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 30.
Sandy Lang, chairman of the building development committee for the organisation, told a gathering of about 100 people that although the Baptist Church had instigated Te Aroha Noa, it had moved on a long way and had gained the financial support of many trusts, private donors and businesses.
Dr Lang said the organisation had quickly grown to the point that it needed to fund large projects that would not have happened had it had to solely rely on the church for money. "Our projects are big and they need hundreds of thousands of dollars; we owe our benefactors a debt of gratitude but we don't [have] a lot of money," he said.
Children from Te Aroha Noa's early childhood centre entertained the crowd with songs and dancing and computer education graduate Teresa Munn shared how the centre had helped her achieve a Certificate in Computer Skills and gave her a chance to support her family better.
Te Aroha Noa says it aims to empower community members and help them transform their lives.