WelCom April 2023
Wellington Catholic Social Services and Kapi-Mana St Vincent de Paul representatives signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU) last month to bring together the strengths of both organsiations for the greater benefit of the people they serve in the Levin area.
The MOU signing took place on St Patrick’s Day at the Levin Vinnies shop and community centre in Prouse St. Signatories were Kamau Holland, Kaiarahi/Director CSS, John Prendergast, General Manager for the Archdiocese of Wellington, Gerry Stevens, Area President, Kapi Mana SVdP and Bernie Hanaray, President of the Vincentian Conference Levin. Staff from Vinnies Levin and CSS also attended the milestone occasion.
We are really excited about this development Kamau Holland said. ‘Gerry and I have been working towards this for about 18 months. The details of the agreement will give CSS a base with which to support the Levin community and the Vinnies staff and volunteers.
‘Vinnies in Levin is a thriving organisation that provides many excellent services to the community’, she said. ‘CSS will bring with it to support Vinnies, our social workers, community facilitation, our men’s parenting programme called “Game On”, as well as coaching support for Vinnies volunteers.’
Gerry Stevens said people’s problems today are far more complex. ‘They are not simple such as just supplying a load of bread. The conditions we live in now, have an uncanny resemblance to the world our founder Frederic Ozanam lived in when he started the organisation in Paris in 1833.
‘Today we recognise Vinnies don’t have all the answers and we need to work alongside others who can provide specialist help – physically, materially and emotionally – that is our mission in this area.
‘My dream is that SVdP cannot just be behind closed doors, but out in the streets. And together we will make a major effort to achieve this. It is really good we can bring our work together today – so thank you.’
Bernie Hanaray added, ‘I believe Vinnies shouldn’t be trying to duplicate or increase the skills we don’t have or try to reinvent the wheel. Getting this MOU signed is just the beginning to support our shared work ahead.’