The Future is Equal

Archives for April 27, 2017

Oxfam helps Syrians to find safety without risking their lives at sea

Oxfam has joined a program to help Syrians find refuge in Europe. 60 people, including many families, will arrive in Italy today to seek asylum as part of a humanitarian visa programme approved by the Italian government. The people will be hosted by Oxfam in the Italian region of Tuscany for the duration of their asylum process.

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Our local heroes

Just when we thought our Oxfam Trailwalker volunteers couldn’t get any more incredible…

Terri Wilkins and her team from First Credit Union in Whakatāne ran Checkpoint Two at the Oxfam Trailwalker this year, and have decided to donate the koha they received from doing so back to their community to help flood victims.

Here’s what Terri had to say:

How have you and your staff been affected by the recent weather?

“Edgecumbe is only about 10 minutes away from us and I’ve got a staff member that lives out there – she lost everything. I’ve got another staff member whose mother lives out there and she was a little bit luckier, but she still had to be evacuated. I’ve also have a lot of members who have been majorly affected by the rain and the floods.”

What did you decide to do with the koha you were to receive from Oxfam?

“We didn’t realise that we would receive some money for running a checkpoint, and that was not our objective anyway because of the cause that it supports. When I was asked to send through an invoice I said that’s not why we do it, and instead to make a donation to the 1XX charitable trust on our behalf, which is for the flood victims.”

She wanted to give her support to an issue that’s so close to home for her and her staff.

“When you’ve got friends and staff members that are affected by it, you want to help as much as you can. We still have to work, so unfortunately we couldn’t get out there to help do the clean-up so the next best thing that we could do was to financially assist the people that have been affected.”

And it wasn’t just the koha they donated…

“I organised for staff across all our branches to have a mufti day, so the funds from this were also donated.  At Easter time staff would normally receive an Easter treat, so I asked the staff if, instead of receiving this, would they be happy to contribute those funds to the relief fund – and they all said yes of course.”

How important do you think it is for everyone to be supporting each other in a time like this?

“It’s incredibly important, just to be able to support people when they might need a shoulder to cry on or just somebody to talk to about it all. You can offer as much help as you like but in reality sometimes you can’t physically help but there are lots of other ways that you can.”