Kiwis welcome Syrian refugees to New Zealand

Press Release – World Vision New Zealand

Kiwis welcome Syrian refugees to New Zealand

Kiwis have come together to welcome Syrian refugees to New Zealand in a heart-warming video released by World Vision.

“We can’t wait to meet you” is the sentiment expressed by Kiwis of all ages, as nearly 100 Syrian refugees arrive in New Zealand as part of the government’s emergency quota intake.

Featuring a special waiata created by Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua for the video, Kiwis have welcomed refugees to New Zealand with messages of friendship.

Ten-year-old Lochlan can’t wait to see Syrian refugees at school, 18-year-old Jay hopes to bump into the new arrivals down at the beach this summer, and Natalie and Kiritapu have extended an invite to the Bay of Plenty for a barbecue.

World Vision New Zealand CEO Chris Clarke is excited to bring such a warm message to Syrian refugees as they arrive in New Zealand to create a safe home.

“We want the Syrian refugees arriving to know that they’re safe, they’re welcome and we’re so happy to have them. New Zealand has a rich tradition of welcoming migrants and refugees to our country, and we’re proud to have these incoming Syrian refugees as a part of our wider Kiwi whanau.”

“New Zealanders have shown yet again that they care deeply for those affected by conflict in Syria,” continues Chris. “A refugee crisis that once felt so far away is now arriving on our doorstep, and it’s a testament to the Kiwi spirit that we’ve welcomed our new neighbours with such open arms.”

There are many ways New Zealanders can welcome Syrian refugees to their new home. Here are five ways that Kiwis can help:

1) Welcome Syrian refugees into your neighbourhood as they arrive, and incorporate new migrants into schools, workplaces, churches and communities with love and understanding, not fear.

2) Create conversation and break down barriers at your school, workplace or with friends and family Join the online conversation with the hashtag #refugeeswelcome

3) Work with local agencies who help to settle refugees into New Zealand such as Red Cross or Migrant Action Trust.

4) Hold a fundraiser to support the 13.5 million Syrian in need overseas or local settlement projects here.

5) If you think we can do more – say so. World Vision and many other organisations are asking the government to double the quota to allow more Syrian refugees fleeing war into New Zealand.

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