Helen is a humanitarian photographer and storyteller, wife and mother of three beautiful children; Hope, six years, Eva, four years, and Maz, three years. Recently relocated back to New Zealand after 6 years living, working, growing and raising her family under the African sun in Uganda. Helen speaks of Uganda and her people so warmly it’s easy to understand there is a part of her that will always belong there. Although grateful to be home and close to friends and family, Uganda is irrevocably etched into her heart; after-all it’s the place she became a mother.
Talk to us about leaving Uganda after 6 years, your move home to New Zealand, and what it means for your family.
Leaving Uganda was the hardest decision we have ever made. However, a number of factors led us to come back to our birth country including some health issues, exciting job offers and the opportunity to put down some roots. Moving back came with mixed feelings. On one hand we were so sad to leave the country that has given us so much. Our babies, incredibly fulfilling work, a beautiful home and deep friendships. On the other hand we were excited to have our families and close friends in NZ get to know our kids and be able to do life together again. Plus, we were so grateful to be continuing our jobs, albeit from a new location
Four months on, how are you all settling in?
The first month was very challenging for our family. We all struggled. It was HARD leaving everything we had ever known as a family: the food, climate, friends and a life we had lovingly built. In hindsight, I had done all the ‘practical’ things I needed to prepare the family eg: purchased beds, washing machines, a car, sheets, drawers etc and shipped them to our new home. But I was not prepared for the onslaught of emotions that would hit as the reality of our move sunk in. Now, four months on, we are all doing much better. The Covid lockdown has been exactly what our family needed to cement our new life, fresh routines and re-connect with one another after a hectic re-entry.
What does motherhood mean to you?
Motherhood is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. Three little humans to love and raise. I am floored by this privilege. Especially as two of my children are adopted. The weight and magnitude of that is not lost on me. There’s a quote I love, “Not flesh of my flesh nor bone of my bone, yet somehow, miraculously, all my own. Never forget for just one minute, although you weren’t born under my heart, you were born in it.” Heyliger.
What have your children taught you. (Collectedly OR with each child)
That balance is a unicorn. Before I became a Mum I thought I’d be the kind of Mum that could “do it all”. Now I know I can’t. As a Mum I can do an awful lot, but I can’t do it all. Trying to find the perfect balance is pointless, it doesn’t exist.
The second thing my children have taught me is how important it is to show them the path and lead by example. My little ones are sponges right now. These are the years where their character is being formed and their values are instilled. For Tim and I, that looks like taking them on “the journey” with us. For example, taking them on work trips where we can, going as a family to visit their sponsor child or going through their clothes every 6 weeks to give them away. It looks like making sure they know they are not the centre of the universe but that our family, and them, in particular, are part of something so much bigger and they have an important part to play in that.
The values you hope to instill in your children.
Last Mothers Day, my husband Tim and I sat down and worked out what our family values are and what “success” as parents would look like to us. Our faith is a huge motivating factor and so that frames the language we used throughout.
“May you live loved all the days of your life. Knowing you are loved by the Creator of the Universe and by us – Mum and Dad. There is nothing you can do to forfeit that. May you know deep joy. May you stand when no-one else does. Speak for those who cannot. May you know that when it comes to this world there is no us and them, there is only us. May you have eyes to see the lovely in the unlovely for that is so often where we see God. May you pierce darkness with light wherever you go. May you find it easy to forgive because you know the depth of your forgiveness. May you be kind, passionate, confident and respectful whether we’re near and far, close or together.
May you learn and relearn all that God made you for. May you fulfil your purpose in your generation. May you have courage above your peers. May you have more passion for the things of God than others think is necessary. May you dream more than others think is practical. May you expect more than others think is possible. May you rise up and go from strength to strength.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May his face turn toward you and give you peace. May you be oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour. You were made by God for such a time as this. Flourish darling’s, flourish.”
Photography: Tash and Arie Stokes of Black Robin Photography
Saben Style: Helen wears Saben staple Tilly’s Big Sis’. A chic and compact cross-body that it intuitively functional. Perfect to keep the essentials close and your hands free for the important things.
Stay connected with Helen:
Helen has worked with World Vision, Tearfund and USAID to name a few. Helen’s work has taken her around the world to some of the most challenging environments documenting famine, refugee settlements, post war environments, child sponsorship, trauma counselling and disaster zones. Be sure to follow the link in her bio to view her brilliant photography, capturing the essence of people in their journey through struggles, showcasing their resilience love and finding joy. There you will also find a link through to her blog, and we trust you’ll love it as much as we do.
SHOP TAX FREE AS YOU DEPART AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Going Places? Ensure you add Saben to your pre-flight itinerary. Our store is situated in departures, after security. Shop S275 past the escalators. Open every day 4.30am until midnight. Our full collection of handbags, wallets and accessories is on offer including carry-on suitcase to ensure you travel with stylish ease. If there is something on your wish-list now, but your flight isn’t for a while, we recommend you utilise our click and collect service via TheMall.co.nz to ensure you secure your favourite style. Simply purchase now and pick up on your way through. Ready to shop all your favourite Saben styles tax free? All you need now is a boarding pass.
For more info please call 09 533 9406 or email email@example.com
SHOP TAX FREE ONLINE via TheMall.co.nz
Take advantage of Auckland Airports online click and collect service. You can now shop Saben tax free online via Themall.co.nzbefore you depart and collect your new goodies as you travel. Pick up before you take off OR pick up as you return home – ideal if you don’t have space to take your new work handbag on holiday, or your new evening clutch backpacking through Nepal.
Picking up a new Saben to welcome you home? Sounds like the perfect cure to post-holiday-blues!
HOW TO SHOP TAX FREE ONLINE with Auckland Airport The Mall
Shop Online at themall.aucklandairport.co.nz
Pick your pieces and add them to your cart, select your pick up preference: arrivals or as you depart, apply your flight information and click through to check out. You will be asked for passport details as you proceed to payment.
Receive an order confirmation email
After placing your order, you will receive an order confirmation email for each flight you have purchased for. Please keep this email safe as you will need to be able to show it when you pick up your items at the Auckland Airport Collection Point.
If your flight details change please contact THE MALL directly so they can update your order or if you miss collecting your order, so we can notify our retailers to arrange a return and refund.
Bring your email to the Collection Point
Orders can be picked up at an Auckland Airport Collection Point. There is one in departures and one in arrivals at the International Terminal. Please bring your order confirmation email and your passport for identification purposes.
Where to collect when departing from Auckland Airport
If you choose to collect on departure, you'll find the Auckland Airport Collection Point once you have cleared immigration and security screening, just past The Loop and Aelia Duty Free stores. Departures Collection Point is open from 4:30am to 1:30am NZST.
Where to collect when arriving into Auckland Airport
If you choose to collect on arrival, you’ll find the Auckland Airport Collection Point after clearing immigration, in the baggage claim hall, opposite baggage belt 3. Arrivals Collection Point is open from 5:30am to 2:30am NZST.
Pick up your order and enjoy!
The Collection Point team will ask you to inspect your items and sign for them. If you are travelling on a flight departing AKL International Airport we request you allow at least 60 minutes prior to your departure time to pick up your order.
Collection Point locations
DEPARTURES: next door Partridge Jewellers in departures.
ARRIVALS: after you clear immigration, in the baggage claim hall, opposite baggage belt 3.
Orders can be picked up from your chosen Auckland Airport Collection Point during these standard hours:
Departures: +64 9 256 8845
Arrivals: +64 9 255 9457
Fax: +64 9 256 8819
All prices are shown in NZ dollars. Your shopping cart displays the goods you have purchased.Discount codes & any shipping costs are calculated during checkout, before payment. Tax Free orders may be subject to local taxes or duties depending on the Tax Free allowance of the country you are entering.
We accept Visa and Mastercard credit card payments via Shopify Payments and via Paypal. Shopify and Paypal are both secure and encrypted and your credit card number will not be stored. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card using Paypal.
All orders are processed pending availability and credit verification.
For Tax-free purchases we deliver your purchase to Auckland Airport within 3 business days of receipt of payment and will phone you if there are any delays. Your confirmation email will have instructions on the pick up location at Auckland Airport.
We take no responsibility for charges or delays incurred at receiver’s end as this can vary depending on the rules of customs in each country.
We do not accept returns for items outside of New Zealand, we are unable to support exchanges through our online store
Zip allows us to offer you an 'Own it now, pay later' option for online and in store purchases through installment payments. Pay in 4. Interest free. No fees.
All Terms & Conditions relating to Zip are within the above links. To pay via Zip select Zip as the payment option instead of Paypal in the checkout process. Saben is not liable for any late payment fees collected by Zip. By using Zip you enter into an agreement with Zip New Zealand.
FREE EXPRESS SHIPPING ON ALL NZ ORDERS - Offer valid only for customers shipping to a New Zealand address.
Orders placed on weekdays before 10AM New Zealand Standard Time Monday - Friday will begin processing straight away and can be guaranteed delivery between 1 - 3 business days* unless otherwise stated, however those that fall after 10AM New Zealand Standard Time Monday - Friday will begin processing straight away but cannot be guaranteed for the overnight delivery.
Orders placed on Friday after 2 PM NZST will begin processing on the following Monday.
Saben will contact via email if the merchandise you have selected is not currently in stock or if we require additional information for credit verification. Please note that estimated delivery time does not include Sundays or Public Holidays.
You may be required to pay further shipping charges where a change in delivery date or delivery address is requested by you.
*These are estimated delivery times only, and unfortunately we are not able to guarantee them. Saben will not be liable for any reasonable or unavoidable delay in delivery. Orders placed during Sale or Promotional periods may be subject to delay
Possible delays: Please note, that we are unable to deliver to PO boxes as we require a signature upon delivery.
AUSTRALIA - $30NZ
Australian deliveries will arrive 3 to 10 days working using NZ Post, International Air. Tracked Australian deliveries will arrive 2 to 7 working days using NZ Post, International Economy Courier.
REST OF WORLD- $45NZ
Deliveries to all other destinations will arrive 3 to 10 days working using NZ Post, International Air. Tracked deliveries will arrive 2 to 7 working days using NZ Post, International Economy Courier.
All international orders please note, that once your order has left New Zealand it may be subject to customs clearance procedures which can cause delays beyond original delivery estimates. Inside of New Zealand you will not incur any duties or taxes however for orders travelling outside of New Zealand, please note that Saben will not be responsible for any customs or duties taxes that occur once your item has left us.
Please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding a shipment
Immune your bag!
Using a protective spray should be the very first thing you do when you receive your bag: All bags, whether they are suede or leather, need to be protected with a water proofer before use (stay away from the oil based versions). Saben recommends Wrens Total Protector Spray, this is an invisible waterproofing spray for all smooth, suede and nubuck leathers. It can be purchased from your nearest Saben retailer, online or at any shoe repair store.
Reapply protector every 3-4 weeks to keep the leather soft and resilient.
NEVER overfill your handbag or evening bag, as this can put stress on seams, fastenings and straps and spoil the shape. Please try hard to keep the load reasonable.
Light leathers should be treated with extreme care – denim and dye can (and probably will) rub off on to the leather with no easy way of removing. Ensure your denim is colour fast.
White Handbags are extremely sensitive to light, and the leather will turn yellow if it is exposed for too long to spotlights, fluorescent lamps, etc.
Avoid handling your bag after applying foundation, perfume, body or hand creams, this will stain the leather.
Do not place your Saben bag on the floor, use a handbag hook. Any tough surfaces will possibly scratch the leather.
Wearing a bag often will inevitably result in rub marks, where the leather brushes against clothing etc. Saben recommends you swap your bags often to avoid constant rubbing and wear on one bag.
For stronger leathers (nappa or pull-up), moisturise your bag with a product like Wrens Delicate Gel. A mild yet effective cleaning gel, it cleans and nourishes all kinds of leather such as smooth, patent and metallic and gives a natural shine after buffing. Be sure to test any care products on a spot of the leather not easily visible e.g. Inside seam or pocket.
Always apply cleaning and protective product to a soft cloth, not directly on the bag.
If you find you have stains that need removing Wrens Ultimate Cleanser is tough on stains and gentle on leather and its fibres, perfect for removing dirt and water stains.
Suede leather handbags should be regularly brushed with a soft suede brush. Minor stains and marks may be removed with a suede eraser. The leather should retain its colour and appearance if it is regularly treated with a water proofer. These preparations make the leather water repellent, and in particular, impart grease and dust repellence.
Suede that has been rain-marked should be allowed to dry naturally and then brushed up with a suede brush. For serious stains, it is best to see a professional. When storing suede, wrap leather handles or straps in cloth so they do not rest against the suede and leave blotches.
Leather does not like water. Wipe off a wet leather handbag immediately and let air dry. Never use a blow dryer to dry a bag.
If your bag has a chain handle, dirt may accumulate in the chain links causing it to come off on your shoulder. You can avoid this by cleaning the chain with a small tooth brush or the corner of a soft cloth. Always store the chain inside the bag to avoid any scratching or indentations on the leather.
Brass or silverware cleaner will keep your fittings looking shiny. Take care not to get any on the bag!
Keep fasteners and zips running smoothly by running pencil lead over the open teeth.
Do not hang bags in storage; they are best kept in the packing bag supplied with, lying flat or standing upright and stuffed.
To help your bag keep its shape, it is best to stuff your bag with cloth or bubble wrap to keep it safe in storage. When not in use, store your bag out of direct sunlight and do not place light colours next to dark colours as this can cause colour migration, which is irreversible.
Take your bags out regularly and let them ‘breathe’ to prevent any dust and mildew forming.
We will repair your handbag at no charge for the first 90 days after purchase.
If you purchased a bag from us on-line that requires repair, please contact us on 09 376 1007 or send an email to email@example.com.
If you purchased your bag from a retailer, please first try to contact them regarding your repair.
If there is a fault or issue with a bag we must first assess the repair either by photos or in person. As each individual bag is made by hand, from time to time faults occur in the manufacturing process. Saben bags are built for longevity and in an effort to make sustainable fashion – we always opt to repair first.
Our repair process follows a 3-step procedure:
1. If we can REPAIR the fault/damage we reserve the right to first REPAIR the bag.
2. If we can’t repair, the bag and we believe it is fault of manufacture we will REPLACEwith the same or similar bag.
3. If we can’t replace the item, we will REFUND.Repairs are free for 90 days after the purchase date. Thereafter, we charge a repair fee which is based on the type of repair. To have a bag repaired you must first obtain a proof of purchase. Bags will not be accepted without a receipt.
We hope that you are completely satisfied with your order. If for any reason you wish to return your order or a portion of it, please notify us within 7 days of receiving your order.We are happy to refund the full purchase price minus the cost of shipping of any item returned in its original condition after such notification.
Sale items are not eligible for returns or exchanges for any reason.
Returns not sent in their original condition, without a proof of purchase, or past 7 days will be accepted at our discretion only.
We do not accept returns for items shipped outside of New Zealand, we are unable to support exchanges through our online store.
If a package does not arrive, or it arrives damaged, please contact us within fourteen days from confirmation of dispatch to claim insurance on the item. We will require your details, the details of the item that was lost, and the tracking number we sent you with confirmation of dispatch. If a damaged item has arrived we require it to be returned to the postal authority in your country as near as possible in the same condition as when it was delivered.
We will then replace your item free of charge.
• the item is seized by Customs or any other government agency.
• the item is sent to a country where no postal or courier service exists.
• the loss or damage is the result of an event beyond our reasonable control.
• the loss or damage occurs after delivery.
• the item was authorized to be sent without tracking or without insurance.
SECTION 1 - WHAT DO WE DO WITH YOUR INFORMATION?
When you purchase something from our store, as part of the buying and selling process, we collect the personal information you give us such as your name, address and email address.
When you browse our store, we also automatically receive your computer’s internet protocol (IP) address in order to provide us with information that helps us learn about your browser and operating system.
Email marketing: With your permission, we may send you emails about our store, new products and other updates. We will not send unsolicited emails and you can unsubscribe at any time.
SECTION 2 – CONSENT
When you provide us with personal information to complete a transaction, place an order, arrange for a delivery or return a purchase, we imply that you consent to our collecting it and using it for that specific reason only. If we ask for your personal information for a secondary reason, like marketing, we will either ask you directly for your expressed consent, or provide you with an opportunity to say no. We may disclose your personal information if we are required by law to do so or if you violate our Terms of Service.
SECTION 3 – SHOPIFY
Our store is hosted on Shopify Inc. They provide us with the online e-commerce platform and payment processing that allows us to sell our products and services to you. Your data is stored through Shopify’s data storage, databases and the general Shopify application. They store your data on a secure server behind a firewall. When you click on links on our store, they may direct you away from our site. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites and encourage you to read their privacy statements.
SECTION 4 – PAYMENT
Shopify Payments and the other third-party provider used by us (Paypal) will only collect, use and disclose your information to the extent necessary to allow them to perform the payment services they provide to us. They do not store your credit card details unless you choose to do that.
You do not need an account with them to pay by credit card – you can pay as a guest.
SECTION 5 – SECURITY
To protect your personal information, we take reasonable precautions and follow industry best practices to make sure it is not inappropriately lost, misused, accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed.
Shopify & Saben will not see your credit card details.
SECTION 6 – COOKIES
If you have any queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sabenettes xx