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

Recognition for work with refugee resettlement

At a NZ Red Cross event for volunteers (l-r): Shane La’ulu, Red Cross Central Humanitarian Services Manager; Rev Tim McKenzie and Archdeacon Stephen King, Anglican Diocese of Wellington; Rachel O’Connor, Red Cross National Migration Programmes Manager;
Dave Olivier, Director, Wellington Catholic Social Services.

WelCom March 2018: Dave Olivier, Director Wellington Catholic Social Services, accepted a plaque from NZ Red Cross, on behalf of the Archdiocese of Wellington and the many volunteers who have helped with refugee resettlement. This work of the Wellington Catholic and Anglican dioceses was recognised by NZ Red Cross at a function last month.

Mr Olivier acknowledged the long tradition of church groups working together to welcome refugees to New Zealand. ‘We are grateful to all volunteers who contribute to the work of preparing and setting-up refugee homes.’

Former refugee Saw Pone from Myanmar, speaking through an interpreter, expressed his gratitude to those who had helped prepare and set up a home for his family. He said, ‘You help everyone, thank you so much for your good attitude and your patience. You give me love and encouragement so I become very strong in my life. If people around the world have this attitude, there will be peace.’

Former refugees Saw Pone and his family from Myanmar. Photos: Cassidy Dawson-Tobich

For the past two years CSS has co-ordinated the Archdiocese of Wellington’s support for refugee resettlement in Wellington. It has helped to set-up 168 homes for 559 former refugees. The agency will be assisting with refugee intakes in April, June, August, October and December this year.

CSS continues to seek parish and community groups who can collect household and pantry items; groups of 3 or 4 who can set up homes; and other volunteers who can assist to sort, package and transport goods. For more information, please contact Lisa Beech at Catholic Social Services at email: refugees@wn-catholicsocialservices.org.nz or phone (04) 385-8642.