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Red Cross Celebrates Former Refugees Who Helped Bring Aotearoa Together During The Toughest Times


This World Refugee Day, 20 June, New Zealand Red Cross
recognises the invaluable contributions former refugees
across Aotearoa have made in bringing our communities
together during New Zealand’s toughest times.

They
are caregivers, community support workers, journalists,
cleaners, nurses, truck and bus drivers, supermarket
assistants, border workers, farmers – many working in
essential services with jobs which can often go unnoticed
but have been vital for Aotearoa to get through
lockdowns.

“The previous year has been a very
challenging time,” says Rachel O’Connor, New Zealand Red
Cross GM Migration. “And while many of us were able to
stay home during lockdown, essential workers played
significant roles in the community to ensure that we had
access to vital services we all needed. New Zealand Red
Cross wants to acknowledge the work of essential workers and
on World Refugee Day we reflect on how some of those
essential workers came from refugee backgrounds.”

To
celebrate these amazing people and their contribution to our
community, New Zealand Red Cross is launching its ‘Essential
Kiwi Legends’ campaign
. It profiles essential workers
with refugee backgrounds to raise awareness about ordinary
people who have faced extraordinary circumstances. With
their lives disrupted by conflict or persecution, refugees
simply seek a safe environment in which they can resettle
and freely engage in society.

“On World Refugee Day,
we want to acknowledge the people in our community who have
a refugee background – their hard work, their skills, and
everything they contribute to make New Zealand a better
place, including during our COVID-19 response. We are
grateful they are part of our community,” says
Rachel.

Ahead of World Refugee Day, New Zealand Red
Cross challenges Kiwis to get involved in marking this
important day by:

  • Embarking on Red Cross
    Journey
    from 17 June–30 July: members of the public
    can join Red Cross’ fitness challenge by covering a
    distance matching a journey that many refugees have taken
    while raising funds to help people in need.
  • Offering
    a former refugee a job: Kiwi businesses and employers can
    work with Red Cross’ Pathways
    to Employment
    team to hire refugee-background job
    seekers.

Rachel adds: “Community support is a
key ingredient for refugee settlement in towns and cities
around Aotearoa. We must work together, as successful
settlement takes a whole of community
approach.”

© Scoop Media

 



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