The last intake for former refugees into Wellington was in early December 2019. Last year, 44 families were resettled in Wellington.
We remember that Jesus and his parents became refugees when they had to flee Bethlehem. Our heart for refugees is demonstrated by the practical help that our diocese provides to families who are being resettled here.
Local volunteers from Anglican and Catholic churches have been working together, with guidance from the Red Cross, to provide, check and sort household items and help set up houses for former refugees. In 2019, 44 families were resettled here in six intakes – a huge logistical exercise.
Last year, sorting took place at the Cathedral, which has meant that many visitors have asked what’s happening, and the volunteers have enjoyed telling them their story. A vicar here on sabbatical from Peckham, England, Jenny Dawkins, read about our work on the diocese’s website and offered to help while she was here. She was impressed at how smoothly our systems work considering all the different people and groups that help.
This year, new areas are opening for resettlement: Whanganui, Levin and Masterton, so the numbers coming in to Wellington will reduce. The number of intakes per year will increase from six to seven. Patricia Cooper, refugee resettlement co-ordinator, would like to thank everyone involved for their support this year.