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Opportunity for Community Groups to Assist Christchurch

Press Release – Sister Suburbs

Sister Suburbs, a new initiative targeting the revival of community groups and activities, has launched a campaign that enables New Zealanders to assist with the recovery process in Christchurch communities.
Media Release
New Sister Suburbs Initiative Provides Opportunity for Community Groups to Assist Christchurch Recovery Process
Community Groups Share Resources on Sister Suburbs Website www.sistersuburbs.org.nz
29 June 2011 – Sister Suburbs, a new initiative targeting the revival of community groups and activities, has launched a campaign that enables New Zealanders to assist with the recovery process in Christchurch communities.
Through the Sister Suburbs website – www.sistersuburbs.org.nz – community groups in cities like Auckland and Wellington can be matched with corresponding groups in Christchurch that have been affected by the earthquake so that they can directly share resources. Participating groups include the likes of sports clubs, cultural groups, ethnic communities, libraries, museums, schools, kindergartens, early childhood education centres, play groups, business associations, community centres, resident associations, church groups, Plunket, community health centres, and youth groups.

Community organisations can support their Christchurch counterparts in a number of ways including assistance with administration, giving or loaning resources such as sports equipment, books, toys and learning aides or equipment such as car seats and scales, taking part in fundraising efforts, and setting up forums between groups to communicate and provide support on common issues.
The initiative was conceived by Jacinda Ardern, an Auckland based MP. “This is not a political project. It’s based on the idea that communities who come together can make a difference, one project at a time. At the moment, there is still significant media coverage of the recovery process in Christchurch but unfortunately public attention may shift over time. Providing closer links through communities ensures that New Zealanders can continue to support the recovery effort.”
“I had family living in Samoa when the Tsunami struck in 2009 and they told me that the rebuild takes a lot longer than anyone can comprehend, and not everyone who needs help always gets it. There was a universal feeling of helplessness after the Christchurch earthquake. Everyone wanted to help out in some way, shape or form, but the question was how? This initiative aims to provide a more direct and personal contribution to helping the people of Christchurch and rebuilding Christchurch communities,” says Ms Ardern.
Residents support group, Addington Action, will use the Sister Suburbs website to source volunteer builders to assist with non-structural repairs on houses in the Addington, Spraydon, Hoon Hay, Phillipstown, and Hillmorton communities.
According to Mike Peters, organiser of Addington Action, the work will help residents remain in their own homes, as well as boost their spirits and help them maintain a sense of dignity.
“The earthquake and ongoing aftershocks have been the final straw for many of the residents in our local community who were already struggling to cope. A number of people, mainly elderly, have homes that have sustained significant damage but aren’t covered by insurance. Ideally these people want to remain in their own homes but simply don’t have the ability to repair the damage themselves. While we have access to building materials, we now need volunteer builders to help with these repairs on these properties. The Sister Suburbs website is a great way of putting us in contact with people who are keen to lend a helping hand,” he says.
The Sister Suburbs project is supported by Westpac, Telecom, Mr Vintage, IBM, Russell McVeigh and Federation Media.
ENDS
For more information please:
• visit www.sistersuburbs.org.nz

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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