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Auckland safe house for migrant women gets Medibank grant

Published: Thu 22 Sep 2011 10:33 AM
Auckland safe house for migrant women gets Medibank grant
22 September 2011
Women and children seeking refuge in an Auckland safe house will at least be warm and well fed, thanks to a grant from the Medibank Community Fund.
The $18,250 grant to Shakti Asian Women’s Safehouse Inc. will contribute towards running an Auckland safe house that provides a lifeline to ethnic and migrant women seeking refuge from violent and abusive relationships.
The grant is one of four awarded to New Zealand organisations by Medibank, a leading Australasian health company.
Medibank General Manager New Zealand, Davis Lemke, says the grants are aimed at helping people in the community to connect with and support one another, and live healthy lifestyles.
“As a health company, Medibank sees every day the stress families and individuals are placed under when someone becomes isolated or unwell. We hope the grants will help people to stay connected, be active and choose healthy food.”
Shakti Asian Women’s Safehouse Inc. operates four refuges across New Zealand. They cater for women of Asian, Middle Eastern and African ethnicity, providing culturally appropriate accommodation and domestic violence intervention services.
Spokesperson, Temitope Allinson, says the grant couldn't have come at a better time.
“We are just so relieved because, with heating and food costs, we were concerned about how we were going to pay the bills.”
Ms Allinson says fifty or more women and their children used the Auckland refuge last year and the demand is growing. She says finding the money to continue to provide the much-needed service is a constant challenge.
“Because many of the women we support are not permanent residents, we are unable to access funds from mainstream agencies or central government so we are very grateful to Medibank.”
Ms Allinson says, as well as paying bills, the money will be used to provide services and support programmes. Some has also been earmarked to observe the annual World Food Day event in October to allow Shakti clients to showcase their different cultural foods.
Applications for the 2011/2012 grants are now open, and community groups are urged to apply. Applications can be downloaded from the Medibank Community Fund website: www.medibankcf.co.nz.
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