When CSS made an appeal for help to support the Afghan Evacuees coming to Wellington, we had no idea of how our community would respond. It was so overwhelming that we simply did not have the capacity to manage the volume of goods being offered, such is the generosity of our communities. We are moved and humbled by the outpouring of support and generosity from so many people. We should have known!
As soon as Wellington moved down to level two CSS began putting in play arrangements for delivery or pickup of donations. Pickups were carried out by two teams of young people from Arise Church in the Hutt Valley as well as St Vincent de Paul. Donations were processed at the former St Bernard’s Church in Brooklyn by teams of volunteers who unpacked, sorted, folded and prepared household packs.
CSS is working closely with Red Cross and Changemakers Refugee Forum, an organisation that works with New Zealanders from refugee backgrounds, through advocacy, research and community development activities. Jacqs Wilton General Manager of Changemakers Resettlement Forum, said that the families here in NZ have been overwhelmed with worry, initially about getting their loved ones safely here then secondly about how they will manage once they arrive.
Batool Arif from Changemakers said “We are so grateful for the aroha and donations, they will make a big difference to the settlement of our new Afghan families, who left everything behind to find a safe place in Aotearoa. Having this support helps the Afghan Kiwis to know they are not alone in this challenging time. Thank you!!”
As the families arrive in Wellington and begin settling in we will try to update you on how your gifts were applied and the difference they have made in the lives of the Afghan people making a new life here in NZ.
While the current appeal is now closed, if you still wish to make a contribution to the work of Wellington Catholic Social Services there is an ongoing and pressing need for suitable housing, if you can help please contact our community facilitator Paul Alsford at Refugees@wn-catholicsocialservices.org.nz .
Any financial donations towards the work of our organisation will also be welcome and can be made by clicking on the Donate button on this website.
The team at Catholic Social Services
“We cannot remain insensitive, our hearts deadened, before the misery of so many innocent people. We must not fail to weep. We must not fail to respond.” Pope Francis