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NPDC Community Funds Help Build A Home For Taranaki’s African Residents

Sisonke Taranaki African Community co-founders Cheryl Mudawarima (left) and Petunia Twala with some of the young members of Taranaki’s African community. Photo/Supplied.

Taranaki’s African community is coming together to share their culture and celebrate the district’s diversity, thanks to two NPDC community grants.

The Sisonke Taranaki African Community formed last year to bring together the district’s 800 African residents – about 1,500 Africans live in Taranaki – and recently held its second annual African Day celebration at the New Plymouth Raceway.

Sisonke received $3000 to help kick start and register the organisation from NPDC’s Community Services and Programmes Grant last year plus $5000 from the Community Events Grant, which helped with the purchase of flags for the Mandela Day celebration in February. Some of this funding was also used towards the African Day celebration.

“Sisonke is a word derived from the South African Zulu language. To us, it means kotahitanga, togetherness, unity, peace and love,” said Sisonke co-founder Petunia Twala.

“These grants will help us celebrate the diversity of our home continent and bring Africans together create a home away from home and share our ancestors’ unique food, songs, games and histories.”

A major focus of the group is to encourage African youth to embrace their identities while they find their footing and integrate into Taranaki life.

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“The NPDC's support for ethnic communities fosters a stronger sense of belonging throughout the entire Taranaki community,” said fellow Siskone co-founder Cheryl Mudawarima.

NPDC community funds support grassroots and volunteer groups in projects and programmes that benefit the community and to support events that are free or affordable for all.

“Grassroots groups and events help us build a Sustainable Lifestyle Capital through connected and engaged communities and making our district more vibrant. By supporting them through our community grants, we help to create a place where people want to live, work, play and bring up their families,” said NPDC Manager Community and Economic Development Damien Clark.

Applications for funding from the Community Events Grant and our Community Services and Programmes Grant are open from 3 to 30 June. Find out more at and apply at npdc.govt.nz/fundingandgrants

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