WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Focus on family


The precious gift of family

Amanda Calder

Mulugeta’s mother and three sisters finally arrived in Wellington in October this year, after many years in Ethiopia’s Tigray Adi Harish refugee camp.

The family is originally from Eritrea, but have been refugees for several years.

Mulugeta said, ‘It’s a miracle to see my mother and sisters again after 18 years because my family heard I was dead from the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1999. We lost contact and did not find each other again until after I arrived in New Zealand in 2003. When we saw each other after so many years, I felt like I was born again because I remember my childhood time – we can’t explain the joy we now have. We are so happy and excited to be reunited once again as a family. My mother and sisters are looking forward to living without fear, and to continue their education.

‘We couldn’t make this happen without your help and it is greatly appreciated. You took care for our cause as your own. Your help will change my life and the life of my family.’

Numbers of refugees seeking help continue to increase. Since March 2014, the Refugee Family Reunification Trust has approved 22 applications for assistance from refugee families, with just over $100,000 allocated to reunite them. This has included airfares to bring 48 refugees to Wellington from Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Iraq, Myanmar, Colombia and Afghanistan. Every contribution to that is a precious gift.

One of the main difficulties facing refugee families on arrival in New Zealand is housing. If you would like to help support refugee family reunification in Wellington contact the Refugee Family Reunification Trust, PO Box 27342, Wellington 6012.