A decade of supporting migrant women making New Plymouth district home

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For 10 years a weekly gathering at NPDC’s Puke Ariki library has helped hundreds of women from across the globe find friendships and support while settling into their new life in New Plymouth district. 


Migrant Women Meet – Friends Uniting Nations recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary with more than 70 women gathering to mark the occasion.


“As well as those who had been a part of the group over the years, we also had the four women who set it up all those years ago,” says Puke Ariki’s Stephanie Gibbons and current group coordinator, of the celebration.


“It was loud, colourful and a lot of fun and a reminder of how important this group has been in the lives of so many women trying to find their way in their new homes.


“We heard from women who didn’t feel safe in New Zealand – something they got from the group and it was humbling but left a good feeling that the group really has and continues to make a difference to so many women.”


She says it is fascinating to learn from each other and the women from around 70 different countries who have been involved in the group of the past 10 years.


Most weeks the group has around 10-15 women at the meeting, but Stephanie also sends out out a weekly email to around 445 women, with updates and activities.


“It’s interesting to note that although many women have moved away, they still want to keep in contact via the email.”


The group meet in the Community Lounge, Level one, Puke Ariki every Tuesday at 11am and anyone is welcome.


Find out more about the group and other activities at Puke Ariki through it’s What’s On guide at pukeariki.com.


Caption: Celebrating 10 years of the Migrant Women’s Meet group.