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WISE Collective celebrates Refugee Week

13th June 2014

WISE Collective celebrates Refugee Week

Refugee background women are busy crocheting, attending food handling certificate courses, hosting stalls at night markets and learning life skills which will assist them to become future entrepreneurs! These women are participating in a community development project called the WISE Collective which stands for Women – Inspired – Strong – Empowered and Enterprising.

To celebrate World Refugee Day, the WISE Collective Team is hosting an Exhibition to showcase and sell their crafts at the Manutewhau ECE Hub, 6 Moire Road in Massey, on the 18th of June from 10.30am. This will be followed by WISE ethnic food stalls at the New Lynn Night Market on the 19th of June, serving delicious culinary delights from Burma, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka.

The WISE Collective Project Coordinator, Heather Tanguay, says World Refugee Day is a special opportunity to raise awareness and highlight the success stories of these women and their determination for their families to become more economically self-sufficient.

“These crocheted items have inspiring stories behind them. The choice of colours and designs speak about their journeys. Their food dishes showcase the unique flavours of their cultures. It’s always amazing to see the togetherness of the group in their learning and participation.”

The WISE Collective has also set up a WISE Multicultural Catering Team, involving women who have been trained in food handling.

The WISE Collective is a partnership initiative operated by the Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) and the Auckland Refugee Community Coalition (ARCC). Other partnership projects are two Multicultural Playgroups for refugee background mothers and children - one in Massey and the other in Lynfield, each running three mornings a week. Both playgroups will also celebrate Refugee Day with music and dance performances from children, and ethnic food sharing.

For more information about the project, visit


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