Lahronda Liugalua is one SOULsista from South Auckland on a mission. At 18, the bubbly NZ School of Travel and Tourism student is driven to become
an airline hostess.
She’s always been passionate about achieving highly in life and earlier this year was looking for a group within her community that would help
her grow as a woman when she came across SOUL.
While she’s been actively involved in her church youth group for many years, Lahronda says SOUL adds a new group of girls to her life – something new to Lahronda (18) who grew up with three older brothers and in turn, lots of their male friends around.
“I’m getting to know new girls that live in my community but all come from completely backgrounds. It’s great being able to help other girls and connect with different people from the same community.”
Lahronda, who was born in New Zealand and lives in Auckland’s Manurewa, is of Tokelan and Samon decent. She sees SOUL instrumental in bringing about change which is needed in society to break down barriers and stop discrimination.
“I went to a private school so had it quite good. But if you look at the statistics and stereotypes, coming from Southside, I was supposed to be one of the girls destined for a life that might have involved teen pregnancy,” she says. “I didn’t fall into that though. I changed from public school to a private school when I was a kid. At the time I didn’t think too much of it, but it was the best thing for me. It’s not really their fault [girls that become teen mums], just a way of life.”
Lahronda says the within her SOUL group are trying to make small changes to improve attitudes in society, and they hope it will make a domino effect.
“SOUL has a lot of potential to shine a light on discrimination with love. In our SOULcircle, we connect with many girls of different cultures and we build past any boundaries. Breaking that discrimination and being able to build a strong foundation from different backgrounds and different realities help to make the world a better place for girls. It’s about time something like this was started.”