Cafe an oa­sis in Wai­tan­girua

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS - CHELSEA MCLAUGH­LIN

Wai­tan­girua’s new Oa­sis Com­mu­nity Cafe/Cen­tre vol­un­teers are in it for the long haul.

Josephine Olsen set up the cen­tre at the back of Wai­tan­girua Mall last Novem­ber and is look­ing for­ward to many years help­ing the com­mu­nity.

She said the space pro­vided a free ser­vice where peo­ple could come for care, sup­port and ad­vo­cacy, as well as help with CVs and the Road Code.

Olsen cre­ated the Oa­sis Com­mu­nity Cafe Trust in 2001.

The drop-in cen­tre was ini­tially sited in Wainuiomata be­fore it moved to Welling­ton, where it was based for 10 years.

‘‘We re­ally felt like this was the right place to go af­ter Welling­ton, be­cause there is a high need here,’’ she said.

‘‘There was a real need for a drop-in cen­tre within this area, a place that peo­ple can call their own, a place where they can meet.’’

Olsen said there were eight mem­bers of the com­mit­tee, plus a board, from a range of cul­tural back­grounds. That en­sured ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity could be helped ap­pro­pri­ately.

Vol­un­teer Pusa Finau is an ad­vo­cate for the dis­abled com­mu­nity.

‘‘He’s re­ally got a heart for his peo­ple, who he feels aren’t be­ing lis­tened to.’’

Finau is about to be­gin a dis­abil­i­ties group that will meet at the com­mu­nity cen­tre to so­cialise.

Oa­sis will this month work to­wards be­com­ing more vis­i­ble within the com­mu­nity with pam­phlet drops, new ini­tia­tives and a stall at the Porirua Satur­day Mar­ket.

‘‘Our mis­sion is to de­velop pro­grammes and ac­tiv­i­ties to en­hance peo­ple’s lives,’’ he said.

‘‘The whole pur­pose of our work is to change peo­ple’s lives for the bet­ter. That’s our vision.’’

The Oa­sis Cen­tre, at the back of Wai­tan­girua Mall, is open on Mon­day, Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day and Satur­day, from 10am till 2pm.

Any­one is wel­come to pop in for a cup of tea or cof­fee and a friendly chat. To hire the fa­cil­ity or to vol­un­teer, con­tact Josephine on 0273674453 or josie_d_ silva@hot­mail.com.

PHOTO: CHELSEA MCLAUGH­LIN

Pusa Finau and Josephine Olsen out­side the Oa­sis Com­mu­nity Cafe/Cen­tre in Wai­tan­girua.

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