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“The compliment that touched my heart was being told I was a great mum, and being a great person,” says Marlena, a mother, and a teacher.

“I have had some really sad experiences in my life,” says Marlena. “But having the wonderful friends from Lifewise’s Vital 5 has been the best thing that has ever happened to me.Marlena’s children started attending Vital 5 (Lifewise’s early childhood education centres) in 2014. She describes this time as overwhelming. 

“I had so many emotions all at once,” she says. “I didn’t trust a lot of people with my children. And I was putting my trust in people I hardly knew.” The teachers at Vital 5 were very understanding. “They welcomed my family and myself with warm hearts and a great sense of humour,” she says. “It was a great start to the first day of kindy.” 

Three years on, Marlena’s children are confident about expressing themselves. They also love school! “I didn’t expect myself to succeed as well,” says Marlena, who is now the chairperson of the parent committee. “I have more confidence,” says Marlena. “My self-esteem is building, I was able to do courses this year that helped me better myself.” She feels being chairperson is an awesome way of showing her appreciation. “Thank you Andrea, Sharon, and Cherise for all your love and support,” she says. “God bless you all.”