When coming to live in a new country, it takes time to settle, not only to learn English but also to learn about Kiwi traditions at certain times of the year. It also gives locals the opportunity to learn about other people’s traditions, such as the Iranian and Afghani New Year which took place in March, when celebrations continue for two weeks, and about Ramadan which is in May this year, in which Muslims fast during day time hours, followed by the celebration of Eid, the “festival of breaking the fast” in early June.
Auckland West staff thought it would be good to introduce the Kiwi Christmas tradition of giving to those less fortunate than ourselves and told our learners, asking them to donate, if they wanted to, one item which we would collect and give to the Salvation Army foodbank.
We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our learners, as the office table began to fill, then cupboard tops, window sill, and then the floor became filled with gifts.
The Salvation Army came with a van to take away the donations and the food was distributed to 350 hungry Kiwi families over our festive time of the year.
We hope this tradition spreads throughout the organisation and thank those who gave so generously.
If you would like to learn English with us, contact a centre near you to find out how.
Alternatively, if you would like to volunteer to assist new Kiwis to learn the language and settle in Aotearoa, you can find out more here.