Refugee Sector shows solidarity in the face of Christchurch Mosque shootings

March 15, 2019

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 15 2019

In the month that celebrates our multicultural nation with Race Relations and Neighbours day, today March 15th is a day of tragedy for the Muslim community and all New Zealand.

Several refugee support organisations have responded to the shootings by offering their support and sharing heartfelt thoughts to the Muslim community in Christchurch. The organisations working closely with refugee communities, of which several are Muslim, are shocked and appalled by today’s events.

Board Chair of Belong Aotearoa (Formerly known as Auckland Regional Migrant Services), Rahul Watson Govindan shares a similar statement:

“The events unfolding in Christchurch are a very direct attack on our shared values and humanity. We are all united in support of the victims of this shocking crime, and offer our support and aroha to those affected.”

Dr Ann Hood, Chief Executive of Refugees As Survivors NZ (RASNZ) states:

“This shocking action is not representative of NZ attitudes towards our fellow country people and people around the world who follow Islam. We join with New Zealanders everywhere to express our horror at this atrocity committed in our country. We will do all we can to support those impacted by this tragic event”.

Abann Yor, General Manager of ARCC (Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition) states:

            “From the community voice, what’s happening in Christchurch is not really reflective of New Zealand’s shared values. New Zealand is a safe haven for many humanitarian backgrounds. This shooting is not something we can tolerate and we will be standing with those who’ve been affected by it. We know that diversity is our strength as a nation, regardless of our background. Islam is a religion of peace and love and our hearts will be with the Muslim community in New Zealand”.

Refugee support organisations are standing unified and in solidarity to support all those affected now and in the days and weeks to come.

— ENDS —

Media contact:

Malu Malo-Fuiava

Marcomms and Fundraising Manager

communications@arms.org.nz

09-625 2440 extn. 4    

Mackenzie Koppel

Fundraising & Communications Manager

mackenzie@rasnz.co.nz

021 838 320

About Belong Aotearoa (Formerly known as Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust – ARMS)

Vision: An inclusive, connected New Zealand where newcomer communities are able to enjoy and contribute towards our collective wellbeing and prosperity.

Mission: Driving innovation to improve newcomer settlement and integration.

We are a specialist settlement support agency, providing targeted initiatives for newcomers (migrants and refugees) across Auckland.

To find out more about Belong Aotearoa visit https://settlement.org.nz

About Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition (ARCC)

ARCC believes that former refugees who form these resettled communities are best placed to understand their own needs and aspirations. ARCC gives these communities the tools, resources and connections to excel in New Zealand. We hope to improve resettlement outcomes for newcomer communities and aim to meet the strategic objectives of the New Zealand National Resettlement Strategy: to help humanitarian entrants to integrate into communities, find work, gain access to health services through self-sufficiency, encourage participation and well-being along with assisting individuals and families to obtain education and housing.

To find out more about ARCC visit https://arcc.org.nz/

About Refugees As Survivors New Zealand (RASNZ)

Vision: RASNZ promotes programmes and policies that respect and advance the health, wellbeing and human rights of people from refugee backgrounds.

Mission: Refugees and people from related backgrounds will have access to quality, culturally responsive health services to assist positive resettlement in New Zealand.

Refugees as Survivors New Zealand (RASNZ) is the leading mental health service for people from refugee backgrounds living in New Zealand.

To find out more about RASNZ https://rasnz.co.nz/

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