List of Needs. February 2014

If you think you can provide anything on this list,  email Caitlin Dunham at caity.dunham@gmail.com, or me at goodeye@aunties.co.nz,  and we’ll take it from there. If you would like to be kept updated, just let me know that you’d like to be on the mailing list, please email Caity.

Most urgent needs at the moment, in terms of the Refuge in general, are:

(and these are individual needs so best to contact me, so I can get the stuff directly to who it needs to go to)……

I need a vacuum cleaner for H, who is moving towns to be with her kids (who have been temporarily removed from her care) – she’s setting up house, and she says this is the only thing she needs at the moment. I know that not to be the case, but it’s a start.

I also need board games. The refuge is currently without wifi (that’s been fixed up by Rob Isaac), so the women and bigger kids are loving playing games to pass the time. Unfortunately, they were given some, and these promptly disappeared. They’re really gutted about it. Monopoly, scrabble and connect 4 are their favourites so if someone has any of those, please let me know.

On to refuge needs……..

Cooking lessons: Volunteers for Tuesdays 1-2pm. With a team of ladies, can be rostered on.

Household appliances such as blender, blender sticks/whizzes, slow cooker etc to teach the ladies how to make soups, and home cooked easy meals.

Gardening: Looking for anyone with tree care knowledge to prune and tend to our young fruit trees a couple times a year, can be during the weekend.

Looking for anyone to assist with our huge vegetable garden from time to time to give our elderly gardener a break, can be during the weekend.

Refuge Training Evening dates have been changed (to accommodate those away Waitangi Day) to:

Thursday 20th February, 7-9pm, Mangere Law Centre, Mangere Town Square for Information and Training.
And:
Thursday 27th February, 7-9pm, Mangere Law Centre, Mangere Town Square for Training and Matching.
Please contact me if you have any queries: Kris 021 02476465.

Food: replace tins in pantry. Spaghetti, baked beans, creamed sweetcorn, tinned stews?  A really great idea is to do an online shop and I’ll give you the address to deliver to. I hadn’t thought of this but Laura Dunkeyson was the pioneer! Also appreciated is Pak N Save/Countdown gift cards (they’re the nearest supermarkets in Mangere). I’m also trying to organise things so people can donate money directly into a targeted account, and I’ll do a big shop for them once a month, but this is more complicated than it seems….

Freezer – Would someone be prepared to cook meals to put in the freezer on a semi regular basis? They could also do with a new big chest freezer. The one they have in the laundry is kaput. We’d also need a way of getting rid of the old one.

Stocking the freezer is a great idea – many of the women have to wait for their benefit, and are penniless/foodless for a week or so when they arrive. Food already being there for them would be a wonderful thing. Christina suggests: mac cheese, sheps pie, homemade meat patties, bacon and egg pie, spag Bol,meatballs, chicken dishes or pasta, curries etc. A kind person is sending a $100 Countdown gift card and I’m taking one of the mums out next week to do a wee freezer-fill shop. These gift cards or online deliveries are a great way to go – if you email me, I’ll give you the physical address of the Refuge to send any grocery deliveries to.  The gift cards need only be about $40, and having these spare will mean Christina can administer them to any woman who has run out of funds for food. 

Milk, butter, cheese – Milk is paid for by Te Whare. Is there someone prepared to approach Anchor/Tararua/whoever to this end? 

Fruit:  approach Foodbox. Market gardens in the area – McKenzie Rd strawberry farm, Mangere Bridge Fruit and Vege.

Food shopping lessons – some of the women are going to be super budgeters, others not so much. Having someone on hand who is prepared to take individual women to the supermarket and show them a few tips is a great idea. 

Suitcases – many of the women arrive with only the one suitcase, or whatever they have managed to get away with in black plastic bags. When they move on to their new lives/homes, they need suitcases!

Kids clothes – 36 families a year in Refuge. Often there are 12-15 children at at time. Currently there are around 12 kids in there, and another 6 coming this week. They range in age from 19 to newborn. Circumstances change very quickly at the Refuge – women come and go all the time. So clothes are a precious commodity. Thanks to all of you, not as precious as they were. But there is, obviously, an ongoing need. 

Shoes – all ages. At the moment, we have particular need of childrens’ (girls size 13), and size 37 (11 yr old girl). Also size 10/11 shoes please for a 15 yr old girl.

Shoes for women – these women are mostly Pasifika, and their feet are often broad, so shoes need to be slightly larger and wider.

Sanitary products (Johnson and Johnson?)

Toiletries – soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, face washing, moisturizers?, handcream, razors.

Regular pamper nights, hairdresser – once every 3 months, someone comes in to give the women foot massages etc. We need a hairdresser for the women, and children. I’m thinking once a month, for whoever wants to have a cut.  My very good friend Selina is thinking about doing nails but if someone else is able to do haircuts, as well, that would be wonderful. 

Technological needs: please see Rob’s website http://prng.net/donate/

Rob Isaac and I are thinking seriously about setting up a charitable foundation to cover this but in the meantime we need: 

Batteries

Credit on phones – currently, there are phones supplied by 2Degrees, Vodafone and Telecom. These phones do not come with credit, and the women have to handle that themselves. 

Memory cards – the phones given to us do not currently have memory cards. They need them, obviously. 

Sim cards.

What do women need when they leave?

Kitchen stuff: toaster, kettle, appliances? Tea towels, cutlery, cups, dinner set

Vacuum cleaner

TV – freeview/cabling for aerial

Bedroom furniture

Bunks? Beds for kids. Dressers, storage space. The Plastic Box?

Cleaning products.

Power bills – sponsor a family? Power cards.

Carseats to give to the families

Most mums drive but not with a license: helping them get a licence

Any school needs for kids new schools when they move out.

Most families in need of a vehicle:  is there any trusts/organizations that would help a family with weekly payments of a car? (Family would repay car at a very low rate)

Possible tertiary education visits:  ie any foundation courses for the mums who have left school as a young teen or what courses are there out there to upskill mums or computer skills education?

If you want to send anything directly to the Refuge, their address is:

Te Whare Marama

PO Box PO Box 43092, Mangere, Auckland 2153.

If you want to donate money to the Refuge, their bank a/c details are:

Te Whare Marama ASB 12-3076-0489694-00

Please use Jackie as the reference.

My twitter handle is @GoodeyeMcWoowoo.

Mentor training for Mangere Womens Refuge.

The Refuge Training Evening dates have been changed (to accommodate those away Waitangi Day) to:
Thursday 20th February, 7-9pm, Mangere Law Centre, Mangere Town Square for Information and Training.
And:
Thursday 27th February, 7-9pm, Mangere Law Centre, Mangere Town Square for Training and Matching.
Please contact Kris 021 02476465 if you have any queries. 

Receipts.

Thank you to everyone who has thus far paid money into the Refuge account. Now, I have receipts here. (This job is assiduously done once a month, and Christina has started giving them to me to pass back to YOU). There is one problem. I don’t know many of your last names, so I’m a bit stumped.

If your name is on this list, please contact me with your address and I shall send the receipt to you.

 

MWA Kennedy

David Lang

Hami Luebberr

LJ Clint

HT Grove

GE Hall

S Dylan

SM Doig

 

 

Everybody has a story.

It occurs to me that many of you are helping the women at the Refuge but you don’t really know much about who you’re helping. And the cast of characters changes with some regularity. So I thought I’d tell you a bit about some of the women in Refuge at the moment. I have their full permission (the phone was passed around to each one). I told them that people were being very generous but that it would help some of you to know a bit more about who you were helping, and that it would maybe encourage more people to think about helping them.

Four of the mothers originally gave permission for me to share some of their story, but one has decided she’d rather not – M was out this evening and H1’s story is not one that I can tell.

I honour their trust in me.

H2 has had problems with drugs and alcohol. She and her 3 kids left her partner a few months ago – she says they can’t seem to be in the same room as each other without fighting. (According to Chris, he is very violent, and H2 has gone back and forth in the past.) She takes the kids round there in the weekends, and he’s not violent to her at the moment (she gets in and out quickly) but she doesn’t let him know where the Refuge is. She’s getting her life back on track – she told me about a course she’s doing that is giving her strategies for staying sober – and I know that having such a great Xmas has buoyed her up. I have noticed that KA, her older daughter,  and her son L have gained a lot of confidence. When I first met them, they wouldn’t speak and were very shy. Now, they are full of chatter and laughter, like their younger sister TP.

C’s husband is in prison awaiting his trial. He stands accused of raping his daughter, K. C wanted to get out of the house while he was in prison, and get her 6 children to safety. She has a son in prison, and his girlfriend M is staying with them – M is K’s best friend; her major supporter; and stalwart companion. The girls stick together very closely. They both want to work in retail, and they both want to sit their drivers licences. At the moment, they rarely leave the Refuge.  C is adjusting to starting a new life, albeit a peaceful one. None of her family, apart from a nephew in Christchurch, know where they all are, including one of her daughters who chose not to go into refuge with them. C is a writer. Has, in fact, started writing about everything that has happened. She is a gentle woman and very confused about what has happened. I know it will take her a long time to understand everything.

 

A has lived in the Refuge for almost a year. She was pregnant with her youngest child when she arrived – I was first made aware of her in April and, in fact, A is where this all started. Because she arrived with nothing, and had no support, Christina was anxious to get her sorted before the baby came. J is now 6 months old. and A has two other small kids. B is 3, and a real character – addicted to shoes, and pretty things. W is almost 2, and a real charmer. He enjoys being naked. A awaits the Immigration Department’s ruling on whether she gets to stay in NZ – she’ll hear about that at the end of this month. Because she’s not a NZ resident, the Refuge has been emotionally and financially supporting her since she came to them.

All of these women have stories that need to be heard, and their voices are most often not. They are poor, brown, and women – three strikes against them – and are the object of much judgement and misunderstanding. I sit and talk with them at length, and understand that they are incredibly brave, and extraordinarily resourceful when given the chance. It’s just that no-one gives them the chance, until they get to Refuge.

I hope that you now understand why I do what I do. Working for these women, and advocating for them, is a natural extension of my teaching work, and it’s something I want to look into doing a bit more in the next few years.

I also hope that their stories inspire you to help them, to get amongst it. I find knowing them really rewarding, and I know you would, too.

Non affiliated Womens’ Refuges in New Zealand.

When I first started working with Te Whare Marama, the Mangere Womens’ Refuge, I wondered why they were independent. I hadn’t realised that there were any Refuges in NZ that were not part of the Independent Refuges Collective (there are around 50 which are in the Collective). You can find a list of most of the Refuges in NZ here: https://womensrefuge.org.nz/WR/Contact-us/Find-your-local-refuge.htm  (Te Whare Marama doesn’t appear on this list. And the two Hamilton ones that appear as nonaffiliated appear to be, in fact, affiliated. Neither does Camellia House nor Hestia appear on that website.)

This information was pertinent to me because many of you who have been supporting us don’t live in Auckland, and it appeared there was no knowledge about where the Refuges were, and what they need. The nonaffiliated Refuges interest me, also, because I have thought that surely there were other Refuges in NZ who were nonaffiliated with the Collective – tiny wee places offering refuge or respite to women – that weren’t benefitting from the advantages of being in a Collective affiliated Refuge.

A few people have asked me about the difference between nonaffiliated and the Collective Refuges. I can’t give you a definitive answer to the ins and outs, but I do know that nonaffiliated Refuges don’t recieve as much funding from the government, and nor do they recieve the benefit of national fundraising. The Collective has a big fundraiser every year, street collections, and recieve sponsorship from a number of big corporates. Non affilateds all seem to run on a whanau basis. As I understand it, the Collective is run on the Duluth Model. I don’t know enough about any of the pedagogies involved to attempt to explain it.

This blog is in no way detracting from the work the Collective does – I have simply come to understand that not all Refuges run on the same principles. And it occurs to me that if a refuge is independent of the Collective, then it’s obvious that they aren’t getting the same level of community or financial support.

Having said that, this is the list of Refuges currently listed on the Collective’s website that are not affiliated with the Collective:

Te Korowai Aroha Pumau Inc

PO Box 57
Wellsford 0940

09 423 9481

Hestia Womens Refuge (Rodney District)

PO Box 580
Orewa
Auckland 0946

09-425 0452

http://www.hestiawomensrefuge.co.nz/

Camellia House Inc (specialising in women with disabilities)

P O Box 75606, Manurewa, Auckland 2243

(09) 269 7100 or (027) 255 7454

Te Whare Marama, Mangere Womens Refuge

PO Box 43 092, Mangere

Phone: 2767922

te-whare@paradise.net.nz

Tauranga Moana Womens Refuge 

PO Box 1195, TAURANGA 3110

Crisis 0800 86 33843
Office (07) 541 1921

Whanau Awhina Womens Refuge 

PO Box 2092, WHAKATANE 3158

Community Office: 82 Goulstone Road, Kopeopeo, Whakatane
Crisis/Office(07) 308 5531

Email wawr@xtra.co.nz

Te Whare Tu Wahine Gisborne Womens Refuge 

PO Box 450, GISBORNE 404

Crisis (06) 867 9427
Office (06) 867 9427

Te Roopu Whakaruruhau O Nga Wahine Maori 

PO Box 5222, PALMERSTON NORTH 4440

Crisis(06) 355 0626
Office(06) 355 0626
Office(06) 356 7985

Email trw@xtra.net.nz

AVIVA Christchurch Womens Refuge 

PO Box 32034, CHRISTCHURCH 8143

Crisis0800 28482 669
Office(03) 378 3847

http://www.avivafamilies.org.nz/

Don’t be afraid of getting involved. Ring them. See what they need. It is very likely, in all cases, that their needs align with those of Te Whare Marama.

A grandmother’s story.

Sometimes, the more you know of a person’s story, the more you’re amazed at who they are.

This is the story of L and I. A story of two very different women – not that very far apart in age, but an ocean of difference in family circumstances, and the way our lives have gone – and yet, it’s also the story of two women who find great joy in each other’s similarities.

L and I first met about two months ago. She was living at the Refuge with her four mokopuna, the youngest of whom is 2. When I first met her, she had not long arrived. She tells me, now, that she was resentful at being there. But the person I met wasn’t one who seemed resentful, she was very much one who didn’t muck around, she was a do-er, quite a lot like me. She didn’t initially tell me much of her story, just that she had two sons in prison; she was legally adopting her youngest grandchild; that she hadn’t arrived at Refuge out of violence.

When I first met her, it was established that she needed glasses, amongst other things. It wasn’t her that volunteered that information, but the other women living in Refuge with her. They told me most categorically what Nana L needed. I listened, and put out the call for glasses, and an Aunty of the Twitter variety answered. We organised a date for the eye exam, and that was that.

In the meantime, L was found a house in Otara, and had a wonderful Xmas, courtesy of the #twitteraunties. And the optometrist appointment rolled around. This afternoon, I went out to collect her – she welcomed me into her house and introduced me to “her mate”, her partner of some 27 years. I had first heard about him last week – he had come from Dunedin and was to look after her youngest moko while we were out and about. A very mild mannered man. I was curious about him, about why they weren’t together, but held my tongue.

And so we set off from Otara to Glen Innes, and on the way we talked. And talked. She told me she and her partner had gone to Dunedin a couple of years ago, and that her partner had decided to stay down there to work. But it was too far away from L’s children, and grandchildren so she had come back here a year ago, and here she had stayed. Her son is in prison in Whangarei, and she’s up and down there all the time to see him. Her other children live here, but they live with their parents’ in law, so she couldn’t stay with them when she got back up here and had taken M into her care (her son was caring for his son pretty much by himself before he went into prison). So she landed at her sister’s place and was really happy there, but the social worker – or “parenting lady” she told me scornfully, as if she needed any help parenting – hadn’t been happy with the arrangement and CYFS had insisted she go to Refuge. She took her older grandchildren into her care ( their father had just got out of prison, and her daughter had not been “behaving” as L put it. She didn’t tell CYFS about this arrangement, “because they didn’t ask!” she said. “And you weren’t telling!” I said as I nudged her. She winked.

And as it turned out, she loved being at Refuge. ” I have to go back there and pick my heart up from outside the gate” she said. “I can’t stop talking about them, they were so good to me”.

So that was the woman I first met, where she had come from.

By that point in her story, we had reached our destination, and we spent the next 2 hours with the optometrist, who did the most thorough job. I was very impressed with the young woman’s demeanour – how she treated L, who laughed most of the way through. Afterwards – and they had all stayed late to accommodate us – they asked L to choose a pair of glasses, which they assured her would be there in a week. There were so many frames that L was overwhelmed. “Any pair will do!” she kept telling me. But I started asking her the right questions, and soon a very colourful pair were chosen. She wanted ones that “turn into sunglasses”. Which was a bit complicated, but they fiddled around some more.  I glanced at the price of the glasses. “Complimentary” they told the receptionist, and didn’t bat an eyelash. “I’m happy with whatever they give me, dear” she told me. But I knew, and the staff at the Clinic knew, that she deserved the very best. Another appointment was made – she was insistent that it be before I go back to work so that I could see how very grand she was with them on.

And on the way home, her story resumed. The story of her childhood – she had 10 siblings and had left school at 13 so she could work, and help to raise them. “My mother was a gambler and my father worked all day. He didn’t know what she got up to.”. She had met her partner when she was 27, had stayed at home all that time, to raise her siblings, to be the mother she knew her mother wasn’t capable of being. “And what sort of mother were you?” I asked her. “Everything my mother wasn’t. She was a nasty piece of work. But you get older, don’t you? And wiser, and you don’t let people push you around as much”. Her partner is going to come back up to Auckland, and she wants to go back to work. “I’m in charge now” she said. “Me. I call the shots”.

She said to me that she wanted to come on my Twitter page and tell everybody how much I needed glasses – I can do it myself, I said. I can get my own. “You sound like me” she said. “Always ‘I can do it! Don’t worry about me!’ We’re alike, you and me” she said.

And we are so very much alike, in so many ways. And yet, our stories are so very different. She humbles me, and I love being with her because she laughs all the time, and has a delicious sense of humour. You can’t be snarky or ironic around her, because she can’t hear properly what you’re saying. So you have to be clear and concise, and say what you mean. Just how she likes it. Just how I like it.

Sometimes, the more you listen to a person’s story, the more you’re amazed at the person you are because of them.

List of needs.

If you think you can provide anything on this list,  email Caitlin Dunham at caity.dunham@gmail.com and we’ll take it from there. If you would like to be kept updated, just let me know that you’d like to be on the mailing list, please email Caity.

Suitcases please – there was a resounding yes yesterday when I asked the question, were they needed? YES all agreed. 

Food: replace tins in pantry. Spaghetti, baked beans, creamed sweetcorn, tinned stews?  A really great idea is to do an online shop and I’ll give you the address to deliver to. I hadn’t thought of this but Laura Dunkeyson was the pioneer! Also appreciated is Pak N Save/Countdown gift cards (they’re the nearest supermarkets in Mangere). 

Freezer – Would someone be prepared to cook meals to put in the freezer on a semi regular basis?

Stocking the freezer is a great idea – many of the women have to wait for their benefit, and are penniless/foodless for a week or so when they arrive. Food already being there for them would be a wonderful thing. Christina suggests: mac cheese, sheps pie, homemade meat patties, bacon and egg pie, spag Bol,meatballs, chicken dishes or pasta, curries etc. A kind person is sending a $100 Countdown gift card and I’m taking one of the mums out next week to do a wee freezer-fill shop. These gift cards or online deliveries are a great way to go – if you email me, I’ll give you the physical address of the Refuge to send any grocery deliveries to.  The gift cards need only be about $40, and having these spare will mean Christina can administer them to any woman who has run out of funds for food. 

Milk, butter, cheese – Milk is paid for by Te Whare. Is there someone prepared to approach Anchor/Tararua/whoever to this end? 

Fruit:  approach Foodbox. Market gardens in the area – McKenzie Rd strawberry farm, Mangere Bridge Fruit and Vege.

Food shopping lessons – some of the women are going to be super budgeters, others not so much. Having someone on hand who is prepared to take individual women to the supermarket and show them a few tips is a great idea. 

Suitcases – many of the women arrive with only the one suitcase, or whatever they have managed to get away with in black plastic bags. When they move on to their new lives/homes, they need suitcases!

Kids clothes – 36 families a year in Refuge. Often there are 12-15 children at at time. Currently there are around 12 kids in there, and another 6 coming this week. They range in age from 19 to newborn. Circumstances change very quickly at the Refuge – women come and go all the time. So clothes are a precious commodity. Thanks to all of you, not as precious as they were. But there is, obviously, an ongoing need. 

Shoes – all ages. At the moment, we have particular need of childrens’ (girls size 13), and size 37 (11 yr old girl). Also size 10/11 shoes please for a 15 yr old girl.

Shoes for women – these women are mostly Pasifika, and their feet are often broad, so shoes need to be slightly larger and wider.

Sanitary products (Johnson and Johnson?)

Toiletries – soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, face washing, moisturizers?, handcream, razors.

Regular pamper nights, hairdresser – once every 3 months, someone comes in to give the women foot massages etc. We need a hairdresser for the women, and children. I’m thinking once a month, for whoever wants to have a cut.  My very good friend Selina is thinking about doing nails but if someone else is able to do haircuts, as well, that would be wonderful. 

Technological needs: please see Rob’s website http://prng.net/donate/

Rob Isaac and I are thinking seriously about setting up a charitable foundation to cover this but in the meantime we need: 

Batteries

Credit on phones – currently, there are phones supplied by 2Degrees, Vodafone and Telecom. These phones do not come with credit, and the women have to handle that themselves. 

Memory cards – the phones given to us do not currently have memory cards. They need them, obviously. 

Sim cards.

What do women need when they leave?

Kitchen stuff: toaster, kettle, appliances? Tea towels, cutlery, cups, dinner set

Vacuum cleaner

TV – freeview/cabling for aerial

Bedroom furniture

Bunks? Beds for kids. Dressers, storage space. The Plastic Box?

Cleaning products.

Power bills – sponsor a family? Power cards.

Carseats to give to the families

Most mums drive but not with a license: helping them get a licence

Any school needs for kids new schools when they move out.

Most families in need of a vehicle:  is there any trusts/organizations that would help a family with weekly payments of a car? (Family would repay car at a very low rate)

Possible tertiary education visits:  ie any foundation courses for the mums who have left school as a young teen or what courses are there out there to upskill mums or computer skills education?

If you want to send anything directly to the Refuge, their address is:

Te Whare Marama

PO Box PO Box 43092, Mangere, Auckland 2153.

If you want to donate money to the Refuge, their bank a/c details are:

Te Whare Marama ASB 12-3076-0489694-00

Please use Jackie as the reference.

My twitter handle is @GoodeyeMcWoowoo.

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 663 other followers