Additional Support is Necessary to Maintain Auckland’s Refugee and Migrant Programs Operational

Additional Support is Necessary to Maintain Auckland’s Refugee and Migrant Programs Operational

New Zealand’s migrant organizations have shared that it’s been difficult to maintain the operations of their programs because of lack of funds, and disruptions in services that arise out of Covid-19 lockdowns.

According to the results of a recent study that Refugees as Survivors New Zealand has produced, there exists a need for services that equip people with refugee statuses or related statuses to engage in employment, training, education, and the activities in the communities they live in.

According to Migrant Action Trust manager, Amie Maga, without the provision of additional funding, it would be a challenge for the trust to continuously operate its specialized services. The Migrant Action Trust group operates pre-employment workshops and a community driving program. However, these groups have been detrimentally affected hard by the bad effects that the pandemic and lockdowns have bring about.

The mixed funding model of the trust is a sign that it’s under operation on government, philanthropic, and migrant funding bases. Immigrants contribute funding who can afford to do so pay for the entire costs of the driving lessons. Funds paid for driving lessons that immigrants pay are utilized to provide subsidized lessons to refugee learners, more so to single mothers and mothers that have special-needs kids.

The driver licensing support for vulnerable community groups is insufficient. It’s hoped that additional funding support from the government will be provided to community-based driving programs. These programs provide trauma-empathetic and culturally-focused driver training sessions for previous refugees.

According to Maga, the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) provided funding for the Migrant Action Trust group once in 2020, following the commencement of the first lockdown, to facilitate individualized coaching sessions. Completing these sessions has enhanced the skills of people with lacking New Zealand work backgrounds to get jobs.

Maga further shares that the Migrant Action Trust group has attempted to apply for the acquisition of other sources of fundings to further facilitate the individualized job search mentoring sessions. But, the Migrant Action Trust has gotten fewer than half of what it received back in 2020. Migrants and previous refugees don’t have and need additional confidence in communicating in English during job interviews and when communicating in work places. It’s hoped that the Migrant Action Trust won’t have to send grant applications annually, and, will, instead get funding on a long-term basis to sustain the operation of its job search and community-based driver training programs.