By Stacey, 31 year old Indigenous mum of five
About seven years ago, I was living in Wollongong with my kids. We were all set up there, but when I was pregnant with my fourth son, Tyson, there were a lot of complications. We had to urgently move to Sydney to be closer to the specialist hospitals.
I came back to the Hawkesbury area in NSW where I’d grown up, and stayed with my brother. I didn’t have anything, we moved so quickly we had to leave everything behind.
I took out my first NILS loan to urgently fix my car. It was a very bad time for me. Tyson was born 13 weeks premature and had heart problems. He had to stay at the Westmead Hospital, an hour’s drive from where I was living.
I was travelling two hours a day to visit my son in hospital for several months, and my car kept breaking down.
I didn’t know what to do, then a friend of mine told me about Shayma at NILS in Hills Community Aid. On Thursdays she does outreach at Riverstone, that is where I first found her.
Shayma managed my first NILS application. The NILS loan made a huge difference. My brother was looking after my eldest three kids at home, so having the car fixed meant that I could get to the hospital every day, and then back to my other kids at night.
NILS has been so helpful. I’ve taken out more NILS loans, and bit by bit I’m getting everything. I’ve used it to help pay the car registration and I’ve got a whole house full of furniture thanks to the loans. I have bought a fridge, beds for the kids, a washing machine and dryer.
Shayma at NILS in Hills Community Aid was great. I’ve got several loans through her and I’ve told my friends about her. The process has been pretty easy. Shayma works with me on my budget and helps me. Its quick, and she’s really thoughtful. Sometimes if she can get it signed off by the committee in a day Shayma gives me the cheque on the spot so I don’t have to travel back 1.5 hours another day.
I’m nearly finished my last loan and thinking that I don’t need anything else. I’m in a good place now. Tyson is fine and is now in grade one. I’m starting to look for work now that my youngest one, Melinda, just started school. I’m happy.