All in Community organisations

Women: Awareness is needed to tackle domestic violence in the South Asian community in Christchurch - Sahaayta

The monthly meeting of a recently-launched coffee club to deliberate ideas for women empowerment among the South Asian community in the South Island has highlighted the need for generating awareness against domestic violence across the region. An initiative of Christchurch-based Indian Cultural Group and Auckland-based community organisation based in Manukau, Sahaayta, the meeting also had women speakers to talk about women issues. While Dr Ruchika Sachdev, a dentist, shared how she frequently encounters women suffering from domestic violence as part of her everyday practice; Jane Song from the Canterbury Migrants Centre shared insights on how vulnerable migrant women are in New Zealand without any family and peer support.

Muhammad Yunus – the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Bangladesh, coming to Christchurch on April 9

In a build up to the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) 2017, scheduled to be held in Christchurch between September 27-29, Noble laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus will be in the City on April 9. The Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, civil society and global thought leader, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of micro-credit and micro-finance, will be addressing and interacting with audiences during the event. It’s an initiative of SingularityU Christchurch Chapter in collaboration with Ākina Foundation, Ministry of Awesome, Ohu, XCHC, Te Pūtahi and Christchurch City Council; and will be held at Charles Luney Auditorium from 4.3pm.

Grateful: Christchurch says thank you to the rebuild workers

Where would Christchurch be today without the assistance of the many thousand of workers who have contributed to the post-earthquake rebuild over the past six-and-a-half years? We sometimes hear complaints about the slow pace of progress repairing the roads and infrastructure, and building new structures - but how much more delay would there have been if people had not come to Christchurch from around the region, elsewhere in New Zealand and throughout the world to help? Yet - how often have we stopped to think about and recognise the contribution of these workers to our city? We owe them a great deal.

Stop education trafficking: The man on a mission - Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus S. Domingo


Dear Friends, please beware of Education and Immigration Advisers who make "STUDY WORK LIVE" and similar promises for New Zealand. In many cases this is MISLEADING. I met with NZ Government Representatives today [March 29] (Ministry of Education, Education NZ, NZQA and Immigration NZ) and they will not accept this! They are taking action against Advisers who misleadingly promise this. Please be on the lookout for this and report to me by PM, so we can bring this to their attention. - Ambassador Domingo

'We are concerned about the report published in The Press: George Clark, Manager, Canterbury Migrants Centre

He was speaking in reference to a report published in Christchurch's The Press on March 31 - "Crash victims were newcomers to NZ". The story also appeared a day earlier on The story referred to a fatal crash that took place on March 28 near Culverden in which two Indian boys were killed. "The police have told us that the investigation will take about a month to complete. Even the report in The Press mentions 'Police said an investigation into the crash was ongoing'. Inspite of this, the report adds 'It is understood they had driven onto the wrong side of the road'. This, we believe places the blame on the Indian boys even before the crash investigations are complete, which might have implications regarding insurance claims. I have sought clarification from The Press regarding this," Clark said. 

Stop the sexual abuse: MSSAT completes 20 years

"Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust (MSSAT) started in 1991 in Christchurch when a client asked his Counsellor how he could go about meetingother men who had experienced similar childhood trauma. Together they formed a support group and in 1997 members of that group registered MSSAT as a Charitable Trust. In recent years MSSAT has been instrumental in the establishment of MSSAT Auckland and MSSAT Waikato who both operate as independent Trusts but with the same principles and objectives of MSSAT. Support groups for male survivors, their parents and partners are held in Nelson and Wellington. All MSSAT organisations offer one to one, peer and group support for survivors and their significant others.  Group support and the validation from other men is very empowering for recovering survivors. As abuse usually takes place in isolation healing works well with others."

Multiculturalism: Christchurch Polyfest 2017 held on March 18, saw 18 secondary schools across the city, celebrating the Pacific Island cultures

Schools that participated included Haeata Community Campus, Middleton Grange School, Avonside Girls' High School, Hornby High School, Ashburton College, Cashmere High School, Papanui High School, St Thomas' of Canterbury College, Shirley Boys' High SChool, Riccarton High School, Marlborough Boys' College, Marlborough Girls' College, Burnside High School, Marian College, St Bedes' College, Linwood College, Villa Maria College and Christchurch Girls' High School, and Catholic Cathedral College.

Celebrations: Fiji-style holi in Chch

The Christchurch Fiji Association (Cfcessa) organised a Fiji-style holi last Sunday with over 100 people attending from the community. While exchanging sweets, applying colours and doing karaoke were all part of the celebrations, the highlight was the Faag mandalis, which sang faag (holi-related folk songs) – a Fiji tradition – late into the evening. Vinesh Prakash, secretary of the Association noted, “Our coordinator for this event was Virendra Prasad, who did a great job. Back home, we have this tradition where we sing holi-related folk songs on the full-moon night holika is set on fire. This is also carried on the next morning during dhuleti when all of us play with colours. During that day, the faag mandalis also visit homes of friends and relatives, exchanging sweets, applying colours and playing music.”

Multiculturalism: Culture Galore 2017 held on March 11, saw representation from over 70 different ethnic communities in food stalls, activities and performances

“The great thing about Culture Galore is that the community takes ownership of the festival. It's another indication that Christchurch is embracing diversity. In addition to some good initiatives already in place such as the adoption of Christchurch Multicultural Strategy by the City council, we need more cross-cultural exchanges, especially on medium such as the Plains FM radio. With regards to Culture Galore itself, we would like to have more involvement of the Pacifika community and make the event more interactive for the audiences in the future.” - Nicki Reece, Station Manager, Plains FM, Christchurch, talking about Culture Galore and Plains FM

In conversation with Sophie-Claire Violette, Coordinator of Mid Canterbury Newcomers Network, Ashburton

"Over the years and through the dedicated leadership of several coordinators and the work of passionate volunteers, the Mid Canterbury Newcomers Network has grown into a dynamic, community-led and community-driven organization and developed a 300+ person strong network of friends, community contacts, cultural ambassadors and grass-roots community leaders and initiatives that contribute at different levels of community building and organising. We support newcomers who have come from all over New Zealand and the rest of the world who have chosen to settle into Mid Canterbury. We are a starting point of sorts for them."

'Living Planet': Three-day forum to look for sustainable solutions

"The Living Economies Expo is an event recognising the interconnection of all major global issues around the driving force of our dysfunctional debt-based money system. The event will showcase examples of people doing things differently, creating healthy solutions, demonstrating what is possible, what gives hope and direction to our communities and country. Through the momentum of this event we hope to seed systemic change," says Margaret Jefferies, member of the Living Economies Trust Board, the main organiser of the event. Jefferies is also the chairperson of Project Lyttelton.

Filipino food experience at Learn from What You Eat programme

The culture and cuisines of Filipino food were explained late last month at a project "Learn from What You Eat" gathering at Hagley Community College. As for previous culture and food session, the funding from The Tindall Foundation has enabled the migrants and newcomers families as well as the local residents to understand the NZ's diverse culture and people from different background through the traditional ethnic dish.

Dutch here raise concerns on Dutch elections there

From "I did not know that there was an election", to friends that followed every step. It seems to depend partly on how often people have had a chance to go back to the Netherlands. The more they have been back, the more they still feel connected with the politics. Of those who have followed it, there seems to be a huge feeling of astonishment that even in the country that we left as a country that is very liberal and very pro freedom of speech, culture, religion etc, it is possible to give a man as Geert Wilders such a following.

Local governance: Do you want to get involved in local governance and have a say in what happens in your community?

As a new CityCouncillor elected in October 2016, Ihave become aware that many people are unaware ofhow to get involved and have influence onthe decisions made in the community. At a recent International Women's Day event which highlighted the fantastic work thatthe SHAKTI refuge does to support migrant and refugee women who are victims of domestic violence, I shared the following information so people wouldunderstand the processes.

Grateful: Thank you for the rebuild: Streets, Durham St Methodist community Ministry, to migrant construction workers

To acknowledge the monumental effort migrant construction workers have put in to rebuild the Garden City after the 2011 Earthquake, several community organisations have come together to say “thank you” to them on March 26. The initiative is the brainchild of Rob Ferguson, Chaplain in the city, Durham St Methodist Church, who leads its community ministry called Streets.

Women: African women celebrate International Women’s Day in Christchurch

African women from the tip of Africa to the Bottom (in short Cape to Cairo) with their friends, celebrated International Women’s Day at Hornby Work Man’s Club on March 11, 2017.  About 50 Women of different cultures came together for dinner celebrating our oneness as women, and deliberate on how - as women all humanity comes through us - including how we influence behaviour and the character of our children. “Women are the realArchitects of Society” (Cher)

Celebrations: University of Canterbury's Iranian Society celebrates Nowruz

The University of Canterbury Iranian Society celebrated Nowruz - Persian New Year, on March 18, with the evening including poetry recitation, traditional Persian folk dance and music, and Iranian delicacies. Celebrated beyond Iranian borders, the Persian New Year, whose actual date is March 21, this year, is observed on Northern hemisphere's spring equinox. This is year number 1396 as per the Persian calendar.