Fundraiser re­unites refugee fam­i­lies

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS -

Three Feild­ing homes are throw­ing open their doors to help for­mer refugees wel­come fam­ily mem­bers.

Kain­gara, a 1910 villa in Nel­son St and Brindle Gar­dens on the out­skirts of Feild­ing will open to the pub­lic in a Zonta Club of Manawatu¯ fundraiser for the Manawatu¯ Re­unit­ing Refugee Fam­i­lies Trust (MRRF).

Jill O’Brien is pres­i­dent of Zonta and says Manawatu¯ Re­unit­ing Refugee Fam­i­lies Trust is a won­der­ful cause.

“As an ESOL teacher I un­der­stand the strug­gles that refugees face when they re­lo­cate to a new coun­try.

“These peo­ple need our sup­port and that of their fam­i­lies and Zonta is about women look­ing af­ter women.”

Jill and hus­band Shane have owned Kain­gara in Kim­bolton Rd since 1996. Shane is a de­scen­dant of the for­mer Feild­ing lawyer and mayor WA Sandi­lands who Kain­gara was built for in 1890.

Kain­gara was built by hand us­ing na­tive timbers. Two of its ad­mired fea­tures are the dec­o­ra­tive ceil­ings and heart rimu fire­places.

The prop­erty used to host Think­ing Days for the Guid­ing move­ment.

“We have tried to carry on the tra­di­tion of be­ing its care­taker and shar­ing it,” Jill says.

“Kain­gara is a grand old dame and she needs to be ad­mired.

“The two-acre gar­den around her gives her a sense of scale.”

Jill said Christ­mas @ the Vil­las is a rare chance to see in­side the three dis­tinc­tive homes.

“Peo­ple drive past them and think ‘it’s such an in­ter­est­ing house, I won­der what it’s like in­side’. Now here is the chance to find out,” Jill says.

The Brindle Gar­dens villa was re­lo­cated from Vic­to­ria Ave in Palmer­ston North and the Nel­son St villa built in 1910 has been re­cently ren­o­vated.

MRRF Trust chair Lorna John­son says many new­com­ers to New Zealand are fam­i­lies or in­di­vid­u­als who seek re­uni­fi­ca­tion with fam­ily mem­bers af­ter their set­tle­ment.

“Know­ing your fam­ily is safe helps more suc­cess­ful set­tle­ment in a new coun­try.”

■ The MRRF Trust helps refugee fam­i­lies in the cen­tral North Is­land by pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to re­unite fam­ily mem­bers who have been sep­a­rated due to per­se­cu­tion or war.

■ Christ­mas @ the Vil­las, Novem­ber 17-18. $30 tick­ets are avail­able by email­ing manawatu@zonta.org.nz or from the Ho­tel Coach­man Palmer­ston North and You Travel Feild­ing.

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

Grand old dame Kain­gara Villa.

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