Lo­cal­mumjug­gles work and univer­sity study

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - RUBY NYIKA

Sau Le­feau calls it a good night’s sleep if she gets more than three hours.

The 28-year-old Hamil­ton mum spends 40 hours a week on a night shift at Angli­can Ac­tion.

Then, after drop­ping off her own chil­dren to school and kindy, she heads to Waikato Univer­sity, where she is study­ing for a dou­ble de­gree in so­ci­ol­ogy and Maori and Pa­cific de­vel­op­ment.

And in her spare time, Le­feau vol­un­teers as a Paci­fika leader at the univer­sity. But she misses her son Mila and daugh­ter Iva and squeezes time in with them when­ever she can.

‘‘I see it as a mo­ment of in­ten­sity in my life that’s go­ing to ben­e­fit in the long run,’’ Le­feau said.

She will be the first of her fam­ily to com­plete a ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Money had been tight.

Her rent shot up and after her part­ner worked over­time, their weekly Work­ing for Fam­i­lies sub­si­dies dropped from $170 to $20.

Le­feau pulled Iva out of day­care to cut costs and took her along to af­ter­noon lec­tures.

The fam­ily of four moved back into Le­feau’s par­ents’ home.

Le­feau knows plenty of other mums study­ing while try­ing to get food on the ta­ble.

‘‘Our econ­omy is do­ing re­ally well. But we have this massive bunch of peo­ple who are just strug­gling to get the ba­sic stuff for them­selves and their chil­dren.’’

She re­cently won one of four $1000 Vice Chan­cel­lor Adult Learner awards, given to top ma­ture stu­dents who con­trib­ute to the univer­sity’s com­mu­nity.

She has also won two TAPA awards, de­signed for Pa­cific Is­land stu­dents.

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