After parish groups brought car loads of donated goods for families from refugee backgrounds resettling into Wellington region, the sorting began. Patricia Cooper, our diocesan refugee resettlement co-ordinator, was hard at work with her counterpart from Catholic Social Services as they organised the items into carefully planned household lots. She tells us: “this week we have been busy at the Cathedral checking and sorting household goods for former refugee families coming to settle in Wellington. We collected for eight families this time: from Myanmar, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Colombia.”
This process happens every two months, and of late, our Dean, Very Rev David Rowe, has invited the team to use the back of the Cathedral – immediately visible to visitors as they enter the building. This comes with a lift in profile for the work of our two churches, and has been drawing interest from tourists who visit the Cathedral.
Patricia says: “One of things we love about being in the Cathedral is when visitors and tourists visit, they often ask questions about what we are doing. This week, after finding out what we were doing, a man returned to give us money to be donated towards setting up households. A big thank you to all the parishes and groups who collected goods, those who helped with sorting, those who will do the house set-up.”
Throughout the year, the New Zealand Red Cross brings former refugee families into the Wellington and Manawatū regions, and together with the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington, our diocese supports the collection of household items and the set up of houses where the families will live – so that when they arrive, they immediately feel welcomed and at home. Together with our friends at ChangeMakers Resettlement Forum, we also work in other ways to support the successful settling of former refugees into their new life here in New Zealand.
To find out more, and to find out how you can help, visit movementonline.org.nz/refugee.