Tena koutou katoa. Nga mihi atawhai nui.
“We welcome the announcement of a Special Ukraine Policy visa aimed at supporting 4000 family members of Ukrainian-born New Zealanders. It provides a shelter from the storms of war. It’s a way out for vulnerable Ukrainians leaving a war zone and seeking to reunite with family members”, says Roger Ellis, Engagement Manager for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.
At present, Caritas Aotearoa NZ is helping its sister agency, Caritas Ukraine, in its work with displaced people in Ukraine, he says.
So far it has raised $78,000 to help Caritas Ukraine provide urgent food, water, shelter and other emergency supplies which are being offered to the 100,000-plus people it has assisted so far.
Our Student Leaders have also responded to this Government announcement and have looked at ways they can support these refugees. On Friday, we are having a mufti day with everyone encouraged to wear the colours of Ukraine – blue and yellow. Students, in their Atawhai groups, will also be invited to design and create welcome cards for the refugees which will be sent to Caritas, along with the funds raised via the mufti day donations.
Mercy motivates us to respond with compassion to the suffering of others. This response of our students to the suffering of the people of Ukraine is God’s mercy being made real in the world today. It is living out our vision statement: to challenge and shape the future. These words could be just framed words on a wall but the most powerful vision statement is what other people will read in us.
‘Humanity needs justice, peace and love and we can have this only by returning with our hearts towards God who is the source of all this.’ Pope Francis