The New Zealand Red Cross has invited Anglicans to consider whether they can offer their time as refugee support volunteers. Our diocese has become a strategic partner of the Red Cross in providing household items and setting up homes for incoming former refugee families, and now there is an opportunity to become trained as as a refugee support volunteer, to journey alongside newly settled families, and become “first friends” to these families as they navigate their new lives here in New Zealand.
Refugee support volunteers are essential to the work of the Red Cross. Moving to a new country can be difficult enough for anyone, but for people arriving as refugees it may pose an even greater challenge. Many former refugees arrive with few belongings and will be resettling without the support of family and friends. Some aspects of Kiwi life are also likely to be completely new for former refugees and their families.
Who can be a Refugee Support Volunteer?
Anyone with a passion for helping people and an interest in welcoming new Kiwis can be a volunteer. No previous experience in this area is required as comprehensive training equips volunteers with the skills they will need.
How do I get involved?
To participate in the Refugee Volunteer Training, it is required that you:
- attend all of the training sessions listed below
- attend the pre-arrival meeting on Monday 18 June 2018 (6.00 pm – 8.30 pm)
- commit to a six month placement from Friday 22 June 2018. You will work in a team, to cover times of availability. It is fine if you have holidays planned during this period, but for at least the first six weeks and for the majority of the six months it is important that you will be available.
There are five evening sessions and one Saturday session that will take place at Ranchhod House, Level 1, 39 Webb Street, Wellington.
The sessions are as follows:
- Wed 9th May, 6-8:30pm: The refugee experience
- Wed 16th May, 6-8:30pm: The role of the refugee support volunteer
- Wed 23rd May, 6-8:30pm: Refugee education / interpreting
- Wed 30th May, 6-8:30pm: Health and wellbeing
- Wed 6th June, 6-8:30pm: Support services
- Sat 9th June, 10am-4pm (lunch provided): Teams and teamwork, refugee culture.
If you would like to know more information about the training or register to join, you can contact the Red Cross volunteer trainer, Rebecca Gouldhurst; via email – firstname.lastname@example.org or phone her on 04 805 0304. You can also download a volunteer information sheet here.