We are the collective voice of Auckland’s former refugees from all backgrounds and from all parts of the world. We bridge the gap between our communities and service providers to achieve greater understanding, smooth resettlement and positive integration.
Auckland Refugee Community Coalition; is a grassroots, non-profit organisation led by former refugees for former refugees in the Auckland region. ARCC is currently made up of 20 member communities from 15 different countries including: Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Rwanda, Kurdish, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Palestine , Uganda and Tamil .
There were ongoing dialogues in 2005 between resettled community leaders and their friends and supporters agencies in the resettlement sector for establishment of a community voice. The aim was to address the challenges of the resettlement and integration processes with service providers in Auckland. Issues identified by community leaders and their members were common factors faced by resettled communities.
The reality was that one resettled community couldn’t deal with the resettlement issues individually. Issues included, building network, employment, housing, driver licenses, education, health and general navigation of New Zealand systems. Acknowledgement and appreciation goes to the community leaders and representatives who committed themselves to establishing the coalition as a collective voice. Those community leaders were from ethnically diverse backgrounds including Afghan, Burundi, Eretria, Ethiopia, South Sudanese, D.R Congo, Kurdish, Iraqi, Sir Lanka (Tamale) and Somali.
Incorporated in November 2006 ARCC was established with the support of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) as part of the Settling In initiative. Afterwards the initiative was taken over by the Department of Labour (now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) as part of the national wide ‘Strengthening Refugee Voices’ (SRV) initiatives.
The idea behind the establishment was to give newcomers and resettled communities a platform to have a collective voice on raising awareness on the issues they were facing in the resettlement and integration process, both regionally and nationally. The overall vision was to build stable, integrated, and thriving resettled communities in Auckland by creating opportunities for participation, strengthening community leadership, building the capacity of our members, and empowering our communities to fulfil their aspirations.