Shama Fundraising Event Shines

Image of Shama’s Trustees and staff.

Shama Hamilton Ethnic Women’s Centre Trust organised an inspirational gala fundraising event on Saturday 29th April featuring poetry, films, and stories of resilience.

More than 120 donors and supporters from the community turned out to enjoy an evening that gave them a glimpse of the centre’s transformational work with women from migrant, refugee and New Zealand-born families from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.  A powerful skit by Shama staff captured the realities of family violence, loneliness, and loss of community experienced by many ethnic women as they migrate to a new country.

Rez Gardi, who was the recipient of the Young New Zealander of the Year Award (2017) was the keynote speaker for the evening. Gardi spoke about overcoming the adversities she faced, having been born in a refugee camp in Pakistan, before moving to New Zealand at the age of six.  She explained how she overcame racism and bullying at school to become New Zealand’s first Kurdish woman lawyer and a champion of refugees today.

Three young ethnic New Zealanders, Ayesha Ghani, Aaminah Ghani, and Akanksha Munshi-Kurian, shared their moving experiences of growing up in an increasingly diverse New Zealand.

The event also included the screening of two short New Zealand films on migrants and refugees, a discussion led by Dr Arezou Zalipour, poetry by Anjum Rahman, and a silent auction of assorted donated goods such as Japanese vases, shawls, and handbags. The event was commended by those present.