Know your neigh­bours

Shar­ing and car­ing to build bet­ter com­mu­ni­ties

Hamilton News - - FRONT PAGE - Cait­lan John­ston Win­tec jour­nal­ism stu­dent

The Hamil­ton Women’s Eth­nic Cen­tre, known as Shama, is host­ing a se­ries of neigh­bour­hood­based events with the aim of build­ing stronger con­nec­tions within com­mu­ni­ties.

The Com­ing To­gether on Com­mon Ground com­mu­nity events are held in four cor­ners of Hamil­ton and wel­come neigh­bours of all eth­nic­i­ties and ages to come along to share food and sto­ries while get­ting to know their com­mu­nity.

The first of four events took place last month at the Western Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, cater­ing for those in the Dins­dale and Naw­ton neigh­bour­hoods.

Shama worker Sa­man­tha Rose said those who at­tended en­joyed get­ting to know their neigh­bours bet­ter and en­cour­aged them to want to en­gage within the com­mu­nity more.

“The di­ver­sity of those who at­tended and the en­ergy in the room showed me that this was a suc­cess­ful event,” Ms Rose said.

The event at­tracted peo­ple from all walks of life.

A 10-year-old boy con­cerned about the in­crease of tru­ant youth voiced his opin­ions, an Afghani fam­ily shared how grate­ful they were to be liv­ing in New Zealand and a Chi­nese fam­ily at­tended to meet other par­ents.

The sec­ond event is set to take place on Satur­day night at the Glen­view Com­mu­nity Cen­tre for all those who live in the south­ern area of Hamil­ton.

Shama in­vites those in Glen­view, Dean­well and Melville to bring a plate, a friend and an op­ti­mistic at­ti­tude to the 6pm event.

The night will in­clude con­ver­sa­tions about im­por­tant things that need to hap­pen within the com­mu­nity, as well as games, ac­tiv­i­ties and shar­ing cul­tur­ally in­spired meals.

“A se­ries of in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sions and ac­tiv­i­ties will leave guests feel­ing more con­nected with their neigh­bours and in­spired about where they live and with the tools and vi­sion to make new things hap­pen,” Ms Rose said.

The next event will be on Septem­ber 8 at the Pukete Neigh­bour­hood House at 6pm for all those in the north­ern part of the city.

The fi­nal event will take place on Septem­ber 22, at Waimarie Com­mu­nity House for those liv­ing in the east of the city.

The Shama events — like this one at the Western Com­mu­nity Cen­tre — aim to unite peo­ple across ra­cial, eth­nic, re­li­gious and gen­der lines to make com­mu­ni­ties that are more ro­bust, re­silient and thriv­ing.

Pho­tos / Sup­plied

Peo­ple pull to­gether at an ear­lier Shama com­mu­nity event.

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