An international community of women from 10 nationalities meets weekly in Upper Hutt to practice speaking English and to make connections.

The New Settler Women’s Group started four years ago with an enthusiastic group of Sudanese women who invited others from their local ESOL (English for Speakers of Other languages) group.

Family Works Upper Hutt now hosts 32 women and their families from Iraq, Samoa, Nepal, India, Cambodia, Malaysia, South Korea, Egypt and Argentina.  The group is open to all refugee and migrant women and their children within the wider Hutt Valley region.

Volunteers care for children while their mothers take part in crafts, cooking and other activities.  One member of the group has cultivated her cooking skills so successfully that she now works in catering.

“They learn how to cook ‘Kiwi’ food and show us how to cook their own dishes,” says group facilitator Taiana Anderson.

Another main activity is sewing for themselves and their children, with cotton and materials donated by the local community and volunteers.

Family Works is a network of regional Presbyterian Support services for children, families and communities across New Zealand.  The Upper Hutt centre also offers a range of parenting education and support programmes.

Family Works Upper Hutt received Tindall Foundation funding in 2007 through our Presbyterian Support Funding Manager.

For further information contact:

Kay Riddler, Centre Manager, Family Works Centre Upper Hutt