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Migrant and former refugee women supported through volunteering in Waitematā

Published: 28 September 2020

Waitematā Local Board has shown support for migrant and former refugee women by providing funding to Belong Aotearoa, a social change organisation that has supported over 70,000 newcomers to Aotearoa since 2003.

The local board is contributing funding towards a coordinator role for Belong Aotearoa’s volunteer programme, which works to equip migrant and former refugee women with new skills, work experience, confidence and networks.

The volunteer programme coordinator will train and support 40 migrant and former refugee women, as part of a three month volunteer programme and with further opportunities available for volunteers to support one-off community outreach projects.

Belong Aotearoa CEO Rochana Sheward says her organisation acts as a catalyst for participation, inclusion and identity for migrant and refugee communities and that there are mutual benefits to volunteering.

“While newcomers get local work experience and exposure to NZ work culture, hosts get multilingual support, access to new skills sets and a deeper understanding of diversity, as well as more hands on deck.”

Waitematā Local Board chair Richard Northey says the board are pleased to support an initiative that will see migrant and former refugee women better skilled and connected.

“We’re fortunate to have diverse and vibrant communities in Waitematā. We want everyone in our local board area, particularly women, to feel at home and to have opportunities to connect and participate. 

“Providing support to organisations like Belong Aotearoa through our Local Board Grants programme, helps us to achieve this.”

Find out more about volunteering with Belong Aotearoa here.

Find out more about Local Board Grants here.


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