Moving to a new country is often hard, but it can be even more challenging if you're a refugee arriving in New Zealand, potentially having to learn a new language, embrace a foreign culture and find employment.
The New Zealand Red Cross provides support to refugees through programmes such as its Pathways to Settlement and Pathways to Employment. There are many ways you can get involved personally if you’re keen to support refugees, so here are our top tips for supporting new Kiwis settling in our country:
Red Cross refugee support volunteers help newly arrived families or individuals with practical help such as enrolling children at school, registering with a GP, shopping and explaining how things work in New Zealand. Training sessions are held throughout the year so if you’re keen to volunteer you can register here.
2. Offer work opportunities
Using its Pathways to Employment, the Red Cross helps refugees find work in New Zealand. If you or your business have vacancies or can help refugees find work, contact your local branch.
3. Donate household goods
If you’re looking for a good place to donate items you don’t need anymore, check with your local branch of the Red Cross to see what items they require.
4. Use your expertise
There are other organisations who support refugees in New Zealand who are sometimes looking for people with specific professional experience to offer their experience.
5. Invite and involve
If you have newly arrived families living on your street, at your kid's school or otherwise part of your community, show them some Kiwi hospitality. Invite them for a BBQ, a game of touch, a working bee or any other activity that you think would help them feel involved.