Resettlement of Former Refugees
The New Zealand Government has established a new category for former refugees to resettle in New Zealand. Known as the Community Organisation Refugee Sponsorship Category (CORS), it provides a partnership between Government and Community organisations to help up to 30 refugees from the Middle East to settle in NZ. Four organisations were approved to be community sponsors in December 2017. Read more about this pilot programme here. If you think that community sponsorship is a great idea, then consider telling the Government. An easy way to do this is to add your support to an online pledge here.
South West Baptist Church was one of the chosen four community sponsors. This means that we agree to provide support to three families for a two year period to help them to settle into Christchurch. It is important to note that South West Baptist Church does not determine who has the right to come to New Zealand. That is the role of the Government. Our responsibilities begin once the former refugees are in the country.
Our goal is to support the former refugees to become fully functioning members of society, in a way that is respectful of their beliefs and culture.
Our motivation for doing this arises from our desire to see strong and welcoming communities in New Zealand – places where people are healthy, whole and in a relationship with each other and with God. We believe that helping other people together builds our relationships with each other and makes communities and ultimately society more generous, more caring and more healthy.
Other former refugees that have come to New Zealand have experienced social isolation and difficulty finding sustainable long-term employment. We hope to address social isolation by placing each family in the midst of a community of people that will befriend them and help them settle here. The families arrive in Christchurch in July 2018. One family will be placed in Somerfield, another in West Spreydon and the third is going to live in Hoon Hay, and the children will attend local schools. Two of the families have three children each, and the third has four children. In total there are 10 children, ranging in age from 15 to less than a year old.
Once they are settled with children in school and they are feeling comfortable with their new surroundings, we will support them to find meaningful sustainable employment. This could start with volunteering, or part-time work to build up NZ work experience and work history. It could mean re-training. If you have knowledge of, or connections with employers that might be willing to assist us in this area, please get in touch.
For further information please get in touch.