A new group is being established in Oamaru to meet the needs of the increasing migrant population. Maria Erdody, a member of the Waitaki Multicultural Council, arrived in Oamaru thirteen years ago straight from Uruguay. Maria a trained Psychologist spoke no English and came with her husband and three kids to look after, in a new town with no friend or relations. Maria clearly remembers those very challenging years . Currently studying a Bachelor of Social Services at Otago Polytechnic, she wants to assist new migrants as they cope with settling into their new community. The new group will be called, Migrants Meet and Share. It will start off as a social group where migrants can chat together discussing their experiences. From this, we will establish what the migrants need and information will be provided at each fortnightly meeting. Newcomers and Migrant Support Coordinator, Christine Dorsey, is very supportive of Maria’s approach. “We have many new migrants arriving and although newcomers and migrants share many of the same needs, migrants also have very specific needs. Maria, as a migrant herself, is fully aware of these needs and has lived the experience personally, so has a lot to contribute”
Together Maria and Christine hope to assist migrants and make their settling in experience a happy one. The launch of the new group will be held in the Green Room, of The Opera house down the drive, to the left of the Opera House on May 11 at 10.30am. Morning tea will be provided, so please RSVP to Maria 0210665143, so we have enough cakes for everyone!

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