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"It’s difficult to know what we can do so far away from the terrible scenes we are seeing in the Mediterranean. Red Cross is there on the ground and our links with the international response mean that New Zealanders can directly support the people working on the beaches and areas where the need is greatest,” Secretary General, Tony Paine, said.
“This terrible crisis is bringing out the best in people all around the world and New Zealanders can stand alongside the rest of humanity as we work together to ensure everyone on the planet has somewhere safe they can call home.”
He said Kiwis can help by:
- Donating to the Red Cross Mediterranean refugee Crisis Appeal – with the guarantee that 100% of funds donated will go to the Red Cross response on the ground in the worst affected countries and areas.
- Donating through the New Zealand Red Cross website to support the organisation’s work with new refugees in New Zealand.
- Become a refugee resettlement support volunteer who helps newly arrived ‘Kiwis’ settle into their new lives.
- Donating small household goods (i.e. not furniture, but things for setting up kitchens, bedding etc.) that will help turn houses into homes for refugee families who resettle in New Zealand. Donations of goods can be made at any New Zealand Red Cross Shop.
- Give someone from a refugee background a job, which is a key part of the resettlement process. This can be organised through the Red Cross’ Pathways to Employment programme.
Mr Paine said New Zealand Red Cross was being inundated by requests from people asking how they can assist.“Kiwis have always been generous in the face of global tragedies and we’ve always welcomed refugees fleeing violence. Sadly, the scale of the crisis means it’s time to say ‘we need to do more’.”