World Refugee Day is 20th June.
“Most of the world’s refugees – 86 per cent — live in the developing world, compared to 70 per cent 10 years ago. Most of these countries have kept their doors open to people in search of safety, and have shown a generosity that is often well beyond their means. I appeal to all Member States and our partners in civil society to do their utmost to support the nations and communities that have welcomed the forcibly displaced into their midst..”
Refugee resources in our catalogue
Search for history of refugees in our e-resources
Red Cross Refugee Services Helping empower people from refugee backgrounds to achieve their goals and contribute to their new home in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Christchurch Resettlement Services exists to support people from refugee and migrant backrounds living in Christchurch to settle successfully in New Zealand by providing a range of professional services that build on strengths to promote wellbeing and resilience.
Family Services refugee and migrant networks provides links to groups around New Zealand.
Today is Race Relations Day and the theme this year could not be more apt for Christchurch in 2014:
I am Aotearoa New Zealand…te ranga tahi, together we grow.
Our city, as we all know, is undergoing many changes post-earthquakes. For me one of the most exciting ones has been the influx of people from all over the world who have come to help in the rebuild. Together we are growing a new Christchurch, a city of not only new buildings but also and especially of new relationships.
The library reflects this harmonious coming together of cultures: we have growing collections of resources for new settlers, including books and magazines in a number of world languages. And our staff is similarly multicultural and multilingual.
So what better way to celebrate this Race Relations Day than to share this year’s theme in some of the languages that we collectively speak?
- Te ranga tahi
- Together we grow
- Juntos crecemos
- Fakalataha auloa a tautolu
- Ensemble, nous grandissons
- Zusammen wachsen wir
- एक साथ हम आगे बढ़ें
- Magkasama tayong uusbong at yayabong
- Ons groei tesame
- با هم رشد می کنیم
- Insieme cresciamo
- A tatou fa’atasi e tupu
- 우리 함께 가요
- Samen groeien we
Can you guess what all the languages we speak are? Please comment with “together we grow” in your language if it isn’t included in the list.
Happy Race Relations Day!
Today is Race Relations Day.
This year Mother Nature has unfortunately put a stop to those events such as the Lantern Festival and Culture Galore which celebrate the wonderful diversity in our community. However now more than ever it’s important to remember the many cultures which call New Zealand home, and support each other.
If your neighbours or colleagues are new to Christchurch or have difficulty understanding English, you can help them get the information they need.
Here are some useful resources:
- Translations of Canterbury Earthquake FAQs – including Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Maori, Russian, Samoan, Thai and Tongan.
- New migrants having difficulty finding support locally can call 0800 776 948 Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visa and passport information from Immigration New Zealand for those affected by the earthquake.
- Language Line is a telephone interpreting service available on request in 41 languages. Over 70 agencies use Language Line, including the Ministry of Social Development, the Department of Labour, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Christchurch City Council.
- Access Internet Radio gives access to a range of audio clips to assist migrant communities receive quake-related information. The clips have been translated and voiced by volunteer broadcasters from community radio stations around the country.
- Read more about Race relations day and the Human Rights Commission on the library website
And for an inspiring look at the way in which Asian communities have been helping Christchurch in the recovery effort, Asia Downunder had a nice segment on its programme of 20 March, which you can watch at TVNZ Ondemand.
Along with some of my colleagues I have been lucky enough to have been sent by Christchurch City Libraries to the 2010 New Zealand Diversity forum, which was held in Christchurch this year. The forum is an annual activity of the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme which has three key objectives: To recognise and celebrate cultural diversity, promote equality and foster harmonious relations.
The convention centre was filled with colour, vibrancy and a multitude of languages, and the Library was there with a booth highlighting some of the resources that we have
I enjoyed a session where we were treated to stories from women of Indian, Chinese, Dalmatian and Lebanese descent talking about what it was like for their families, and especially their mothers assimilating into a new country. Their mothers were central to keeping the family cultural identity. Often they had very little English, but they provided the family with familiar food, customs and language which kept their cultures and families connected.
A few book titles were mentioned and you can find them in our library:
Our webpages also have information for new migrants, or those wanting to find out more about their histories: