Krisztina loves being an ‘auntie’ in the Wesley Aunties & Uncles program. “I love children and not having children of my own, I thought it would be a nice way for me to get to know a little child,” she says. “And hopefully be a positive influence.”
A chat with a friend first planted the idea in Krisztina’s mind and she contacted us to express her interest. After a screening process, she was linked with 10-year-old Annabel*. For her safety, Annabel had to leave her family home when she was five and she was cared for by relatives, before being placed with foster families.
Annabel was introduced to Krisztina during a play at the park, accompanied by Annabel’s real aunt and a Wesley Mission case worker. Since then, Krisztina has regularly spent time with Annabel. She’d take Annabel on outings to the beach, the cinema, shopping or putt putt golf, or to her own home for a visit. “We made slime – that was Annabel’s favourite – and played cubby-house or board games and we’d watch DVDs,” says Krisztina. “As she was getting used to having her phone, she’d watch TikTok and practice little dance moves in front of me.”
Seeing Annabel gradually start to trust her and enjoy her company has been very special for Krisztina. “I’d pick her up and Annabel would open the door excitedly and have a big smile on her face. It was just gorgeous.”
They’ve now been part of each other’s lives for close to six years. Annabel is 15 and she has become a ‘strong’ young woman after enduring many challenges. Krisztina’s hope is that she has given, and will continue to give, Annabel some stability, unconditional love and guidance that will help her throughout her life.
“Taking part in the Wesley Aunties and Uncles program takes time and energy but if you can do it, it’s definitely worthwhile,” Krisztina says.
Our ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ provide mentoring and care to children from disadvantaged homes. If you’re interested in joining the program and helping children like Annabel, let us know at wesleymission.org.au/ auntiesanduncles
*Name and photo changed to protect privacy