Celebrating the Positive Contributions of Refugees on World Refugee Day

June 20, 2017

 Celebrating the Positive Contributions of Refugees on World Refugee Day

The Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS), in partnership with the Auckland Resettled Community Collation (ARCC) is celebrating World Refugee Day and the positive contributions of refugees to New Zealand.

“Here at ARMS, we acknowledge and celebrate the commitment and courage of refugee background leaders, advocates, funders, and New Zealanders who have supported the resettled communities at their time of greatest need and challenge,” said Rochana Sheward, ARMS Chief Executive Officer.

There are three refugee projects led by ARMS; the WISE Collective, Safari Multicultural Projects (three playgroups), and Auckland Migrant and Refugee Training Enterprise Project (AMARTE). All three projects focus on providing a safe space for women and children to access education, training, upskilling and enterprising opportunities.

WISE Collective is a social enterprise project for women from a refugee background. There are two hubs in Mt Roskill and Henderson, over 300 women from 16 countries including Afghani, Myanmar and Ethiopia, have engaged with the project.

“We have seen remarkable difference in the lives of the resettled communities that we work with. The WISE women have progressed from being shy to strong food stallholder entrepreneurs, at various markets across Auckland, reshaping the diverse cuisine culture of New Zealand at the same time,” said Mrs Sheward

Sheward adds, “We are working with over 100 families across our three Playgroups in Lynfield, Henderson and Papatoetoe, in a culturally inclusive environment where first languages and cultural backgrounds are valued.  We assist mothers to become better equipped, educated and empowered to assist their children to be school ready.”

The Playgroups provide free early childhood education, English classes for the mothers alongside the playgroups, van transport for families experiencing the greatest access difficulties. AMARTE is our latest social enterprise project which focuses on barista coffee training course and kiwi style baking and has over twenty women enrolled in the course.

“In celebrating Refugee Day, we would like to acknowledge the support our projects have received from various service agencies, funders and individuals in ensuring that we are welcoming our resettled families and offering them the right support and guidance to start a new life in New Zealand.”

For further information, or interviews, please contact Shoma Prasad, ARMS Communications Manager at communications@arms-mrc.org.nz or Ph: 09 625 3095.


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