Special lunch to wel­come women

Te Puke Times - - NEWS -

Women of all mi­grant groups are wel­come to a special lunch in Te Puke later this month.

The idea is for them to meet each other and learn about the many lo­cal ser­vices avail­able to help them set­tle well in the com­mu­nity.

The free Mi­grant Women’s Day lunch is on June 16, at the Te Puke Plun­ket rooms from 10.30am-1.30pm, and be­ing or­gan­ised by Te Puke Plun­ket and spon­sored by Ru­ral Women NZ.

Plun­ket’s com­mu­nity ser­vices co­or­di­na­tor Dale Snell says the new ini­tia­tive is driven by the de­sire to of­fer a wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment for women from the many di­verse eth­nic­i­ties that make up the Te Puke com­mu­nity.

Dale says mi­grant women can feel lonely, iso­lated and afraid to reach out to help and ad­vice.

The lunch puts out the wel­come mat and, as well as a beau­ti­ful se­lec­tion of food, there will be in­for­ma­tion shared at the event in­clud­ing mother and baby ad­vice, how to ac­cess lo­cal ser­vices such as English lessons, driv­ing lessons, play­groups and cof­fee morn­ings.

“Our com­mu­nity sees the need for our mi­grant fam­i­lies to be well sup­ported, wel­comed and bet­ter in­formed about the op­por­tu­ni­ties our won­der­ful town has to of­fer,” says Dale.

Ru­ral Women area sec­re­tary Jo Gravit says the lunch aims to give greater self-con­fi­dence to women who are new to the com­mu­nity.

“Empowering women is the tra­di­tional role of Ru­ral Women. With the chang­ing na­ture of the Western Bay we must recog­nise the in­creas­ing di­ver­sity of our small towns and en­cour­age new­com­ers to feel more in­cluded.

“We recog­nise the huge part mi­grant fam­i­lies play in the so­cial and eco­nomic fab­ric of Te Puke — on our or­chards, farms and in our busi­nesses. They work so hard and con­trib­ute greatly.

“We hope the lun­cheon will in­form women what our com­mu­nity has to of­fer — but just as im­por­tant is for the women to let us know where they have gaps in in­for­ma­tion and knowl­edge about what ser­vices are there for them­selves and their fam­i­lies when they need help.”

Wel­com­ing Com­mu­ni­ties co-or­di­na­tor Haidee Kali­rai says the lunch is an ex­am­ple of how lo­cals can con­nect new­com­ers to ser­vices and open op­por­tu­ni­ties to build con­nec­tions.

Wel­com­ing Com­mu­ni­ties is a new sub­re­gional pilot by Im­mi­gra­tion NZ that part­ners lo­cal coun­cils with the com­mu­nity to roll out the wel­come mat for new­com­ers.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the lunch, or to let Dale know you would like to at­tend, email dale.snell@plun­ket.org.nz. You can also sim­ply turn up on the day.

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