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The Liberty of Being Me Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in March 2010, which offers an adaptation of programmes developed and delivered in Mexico by the Amara Pro Self Esteem Foundation.  Our mission is to raise awareness and create an environment of self discovery, helping women and girls understand the power of healthy self esteem (resilience) in assisting us to deal with the challenges of everyday life.


We offer interactive workshops that encourage healthy self-esteem, challenge beauty stereotypes (including the role of media), and help build strong relationships and effective communication skills through interactive activities.


The pikorua (twist) symbolises the bond between two people, whether founded in friendship, love or ancestry.  This signifies how the strength of the bond of friendship, loyalty and love will last forever.  For mothers and daughters in particular this bond is very powerful.


Dr. Christina Berton is a world leader in self-esteem and co-founder of the Amara Pro Self Esteem Foundation. In collaboration with the Dove International Self-Esteem Project, her programmes have reached thousands of people in Mexico. In October 2008 Penny Stevens heard Christina speak at an international congress and was inspired to invite her to visit New Zealand and share her message of self acceptance. The following year Christina undertook a national tour offering presentations and workshops about the power of a healthy self-esteem.


In 2010, following the positive feedback from Christina’s tour, Penny Stevens established her new foundation ‘The Liberty of Being Me’. Christina returned to Auckland from Mexico in March 2010 to celebrate the launch, facilitate our first mother/daughter workshop and train our own first facilitators. Over the past 7 years we have piloted the mother/daughter workshops and seminars with over 500 participants from diverse schools and communities.


            Penny Stevens – Founding Director


After attending a workshop listening to a panel of international speakers at the 2008 International Business and Professional Women’s Congress in Mexico City, speaking on ‘Say No to Violence,’ I was completely moved by the final speaker Dr. Christina Berton from Amara Foundation in Mexico.


She only took 15minutes to change my life forever. I knew then that I felt my own beauty for the 1st time in my life.


Christina didn’t used the words violence or abuse once. Instead she gave us insights into how each of us has so much beauty in our own right. No matter what, if only we focus on it. Following the Congress, I had the opportunity to visit friends in New York City for the 1st time. With the warmth of Christina’s message still in my heart, when I saw the Statue of Liberty, it only strengthened me.


It wasn’t about the statue, it was the message of freedom to be who I am.  “My truth” This message is so profound, that we invited Christina to visit NZ in October 2009.  While planning this speaking tour covering Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch I asked Christina what the tour would be?


This is what Christina said:  “How about ‘The Liberty of Being Me”. All I could say was. “That’s PERFECT”.


One year later in 2010, The Liberty of Being Me Foundation was launched here in New Zealand. Our logo a beautiful Maori Toanga represents relationships in one’s life time.  The more we get to know our own beauty and the truth of who we are the more beauty and strength we have in each of our relationships.

Penny Stevens – Founding Director

The most important relationship being that of our mother.

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