Support for young women
The butterfly is an important motif for national non-profit organisation A Girl Called Hope, which aims to achieve freedom for struggling young women, says executive director and former Blenheim woman Kerry Petrie.
The Auckland-based organisation, established in August 2007, caters for women aged 16 to 28, experiencing issues such as abuse, addiction, depression, eating disorders and self-harm.
The organisation offers a structured free-of-charge six-month residential programme that draws on Christian principles and aims to provide life principles, social skills, career guidance, counselling, and training in nutrition and fitness.
Mrs Petrie strongly believes in the importance of strengthening the emotional and physical inner core of young women.
"I'm really passionate about seeing young women change and get freedom from what they are struggling with," she said.
"We often talk about how the butterfly struggles in the chrysalis, and how it changes and grows into a butterfly.
"It's about seeing these young women gain hope and walk into who they were created to be."
The programme was based on Mercy Ministries in America and focused on finding the root cause of behaviour issues, Mrs Petrie said.
But first, women had to want to change for themselves.
While agencies and health professionals could not formally make referrals, they could make them aware of the programme.
Up to eight women were accepted for each intake; about 36 had graduated since its inauguration, Mrs Petrie said. On completion, the women did a 12-month transition programme to readjust to everyday life.
Mrs Petrie is a guest speaker at Christian women's conference Women of Influence at the Marlborough Convention Centre in Blenheim on July 27 to 28. Register at womenofinfluence.org.nz, or for enquiries email ask @womenofinfluence.org.nz.
- The Marlborough Express