Refugees as Survivors

Refugees and people with refugee-like backgrounds may arrive in New Zealand with little English and limited knowledge about New Zealand. Resettlement can be a challenging and stressful experience, even more so when information is rarely available in one’s own language. The Refugees as Survivors Community Team provide refugee communities with a culturally-appropriate safe place to talk about their feelings and empower refugee communities through knowledge- and capacity- building activities.

Projects 2011
Refugees in Sport initiative

Through a partnership with Soccer 2, Malcolm Pacific Refugees as Survivors (RAS) is developing a series of programmes to achieve better access for former refugees into mainstream NZ sport. Soccer 2 offered to help after RAS consultations with Auckland refugee communities revealed many barriers to linking into sporting clubs and community activities. The programme aims to provide a ‘passport’ and subsidy for young players from refugee families into local soccer clubs, the creation of an all-refugee RASNZ soccer team, the All Refs, for exhibition games, the development of a fund to encourage girls from refugee backgrounds to participate in culturally appropriate team and individual sport, and coaching clinics for refugee players.


RASNZ has engaged in a collaborative venture involving the Umma Trust, Ethnic Youth Trust, Ministry of Social Development, ASB Community Trust, Auckland Refugee Coalition  and refugee advocacy groups to establish the RYAN (Refugee Youth Action Network) initiative. The initiative involves applying a community development approach in fostering and mentoring young leaders form refugee backgrounds. Last year former refugee communities put forward 90 young people for leadership training in outdoor pursuits run by Ngati Wai Ara Moana Trust in Northland as part of the initiative.

RAS Angels

 RAS Angels is a network of people who RAS can rely on for help. Angels are grouped into two main categories: RAS Essential Angles and RAS Travelling Angels. For example, if RAS is told a refugee is freezing and they haven’t enough bedding or warm clothes then they will e-mail the RAS Essential Angels who live in that area and ask if you or anyone they know can help with blankets or clothing. RAS Travelling Angels are people RAS can e-mail when they need help getting a refugee to an important appointment at either our Mt Roskill or our Mangere Centre. If I would like to be a RAS Angel then please let the team at RAS know. Just put either Essential or Travelling (or both) in the subject.

Contact:  Arif Saeid

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