Who are W.H.O?

Our Congolese friend Lema Shamamba, with the support of Hinemoa Key from Ranui Action Project, has brought together a group of refugee women living around Ranui for companionship and support. The two names they discussed for their group:  Women of Hope, and Women Wake up, Helping Ourselves have become one:

W.H.O – Women of Hope, Helping Ourselves

They meet most Saturdays at members’ homes to share knowledge and skills in child care, housekeeping, crafts, gardening, and cooking.

IMG_5243We have been privileged to meet the group on a couple of occasions, and deeply admire their language skills (in three or more languages, all of them), their resilience and enthusiasm – as well as their ability to laugh and sing a lot in spite of their terrible past experiences and current challenges.  The group is committed to helping each other and extending their self-reliance.

However, they have also identified areas where they need some outside assistance:

  • establishing a programme for early childhood education, particularly for language and cultural maintenance
  • moving from Learners’ Licences for driving to Restricted Licences, where they experience huge barriers of confidence, sometimes of skill development, and always of costs. Being able to drive in Auckland is a necessity for them.

From left: Di, Aio Wira; Lema, W.H.O; Glenys (cake baker) Earthsong.


Jeanine, Noella and Lema dancing after dinner

Di Davies, manager of the Aio Wira Centre in the Waitakere Ranges, who is on the Earthsong Centre Trust, hosted a fundraising dinner for 50 people on Sunday 9 August which has provided a contribution of $900 towards the costs of driver education and licence fees – thanks Di, helpers and all who attended and contributed!


Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.