When I asked former refugee women in Auckland to start sewing for Waste Free Celebrations, I did not anticipate their level of enthusiasm. I thought they might be happy to have the work, but let's face it, Christmas is a christian tradition and I wasn't sure they'd jump at the chance to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
George and Edi Wānaka,
Manufacturers of stunning candles, soaps and aromatic household items
Intellectual property lawyers in Auckland
Producers of earth friendly, kid-friendly bees wax-based crayons.
Dr Fahima Saeida from NFACT who manages income-generating opportunities for new settlers, said, "With these contributions, we can finally purchase more sewing machines for our women’s group, allowing us to take on more members so that we may have a greater outreach within the community and create more employment opportunities for the group members. This group has helped many women who are new to the country find employment and rebuild their lives. Many of those who stand to benefit the most are war widows or victims of domestic abuse, and this contribution will play a significant role in their road to recovery. It has been a very moving experience to watch them rebuild their confidence and become more enthusiastic about their future. Opportunities like this aren’t often available to these women as many don’t have the necessary skills or language competency to compete in the NZ job market but it’s thanks to people like Emma and the sponsor companies for having faith and making a huge difference to these women’s lives."
You can find out more about NFACT here: www.nfact.co.nz
(Do you know a super crazy fact? In 2004-2006 I worked for the UN in Afghanistan and I lived on the corner of road 5, street 13 Wazir Akbar Khan. Fahima Saeida from NFACT, grew up 30 metres away on the corner of road 6, street 13 Wazir Akbar Khan. Decades later, with me in Wānaka and Fahima in Auckland, we are brought together by Christmas!)