Meet Patrice. When her father died tragically in a mountain accident when she was young, Patrice was forced to grow up quickly to help her mother raise her younger sister and brother. Always positive, looking at the bright side of life, Patrice always believed that with hard work she could have anything you wanted in life. Patrice’s passion for the performing arts started at the age of six, whereshe immersed herself in all forms of dance until she graduated from high school. Always knowing she wanted to be a school teacher; Patrice often spoke of how her dream would somehow be merged with her passion for dance. After graduating as a teacher (whilst gaining dance teaching experience), she went to London with her now husband, Dion to teach full time and travel. She kept up her dancing at Pineapple where she was lucky enough to train with professional Broadway dancers for two years. After a successful two years of teaching in London, Patrice was offered the position of Director of Performing Arts for an International school in Egypt -- home of the largest school theatre in the Middle East! During her two years there, Patrice wrote, directed and produced nine school musicals with over 300 students. On return to New Zealand, Patrice launched 'Gobsmacked'; a performing arts company specialising in the production of school musicals, providing all original scripts, music, dance choreography, costumes, sets and props. After its first school musical in May 2015 with over 370 students in the cast, Gobsmacked is now completely booked for the remainder of the year. Patrice has an infectious zest for life, inspiring people to better themselves. Her belief in her students is the driving force behind each musical’s success. She is a Strong Woman.
Meet Tanya. A trained nurse who grew up in Fiji, Tanya first visited Cambodia in 2007 where she left a portion of her heart. After several mission trips to Cambodia, Tanya's mission vision was born in the form of Restore One Charity. "The word RESTORE is a perfect description for what is achieved in the broken communities of Cambodia and Myanmar." Tanya and her team at Restore One are supporting one village to not simply build a school and leave; they are working with the people to ensure every area of their village is developing. The school they have opened gives children an education for hope and freedom. By building up and educating the youth they are able to set them on a path where they can find a good job. Opening in November 2014, the school has 200 students with another classroom for educating the 10 deaf students of the village also being developed. In the community, villagers are educated about domestic violence and hygiene. They have also opened Restore one Cafe in downtown Phnom Penh which helps support the village's efforts. A visitors and training centre is also a place where locals can work or be trained to develop skills to enhance their village.
Tanya loves what she does and beams with delight when asked about her project. Being only two years old, it's still new, but Restore One is already changing lives! Tanya encourages everyone to do something that excites you. Restore One is something that is empowering and changing lives, one person at a time. She is excited and passionate about this project. She is a Strong Woman.