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National Office PO Box 12140, Wellington 69 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6144 Phone: 04 471 8250 Email: Website:

A Life for New Zealand Red Cross


iK ndRED


oap, toilet paper, shampoo, note paper and a pen made up a care package sent 66 years ago and the start of a 90-year-olds connection with New Zealand Red Cross. Nanette Painton still remembers her first encounter with New Zealand Red Cross, vividly reciting the contents of a care package she received just after Victory in Europe day following the Second World War. “I still remember,” Nanette recalls. “I felt guilty as these packages we were sending to those on the front line, but the war was over and there were a few spares so I got one. “We all had great respect for New Zealand Red Cross…an amazing organisation what they did for us during the war. You could say that package was my first real encounter with New Zealand Red Cross. Moving to New Zealand in the early 1950’s it was not long before the director of New Zealand Junior Red Cross put Nanette on the payroll, working at its national office on Dixon Street in Wellington as a part time secretary. A distressing effect of violence and natural disasters is misplaced and displaced people who are unable to communicate with family and friends. Red Cross provides a tracing service to reconnect those following war and

Nanette Painton, still involved with New Zealand Red Cross.

disasters; today it is called restoring family links. Nanette’s fluency in German and French proved to be a valuable asset when it came to translating, what was then known as tracing letters. “One day a letter came, it wasn’t my job to read them but no one could so I helped,” she says. “Funnily enough I knew the long-lost relative. They were both Jewish and were separated in a concentration camp during the war so it was amazing I could play my part in reconnecting a family.” Nanette provided the home address and details reuniting two AustrianJewish sisters. Nanette was also a driver for the

former shut-in programme, where vulnerable people unable to get out of the house were taken to appointments or time was spent in companionship. “I did this for one lady even after I left New Zealand Red Cross as a staff member. “It was a wonderful thing Red Cross enabled us to give to someone – time.” Hawkes Bay is now Nanette’s home. At 90 years of age, Nanette is still proud to be involved with New Zealand Red Cross as a relief meals on wheels driver. “I still love helping people and will for as long as I can – I’ve always enjoyed a challenge.”

A big Thank You to all of you who donated to our SEE RED Annual Appeal. So far, donations through the post have exceeded $260,000, with another $50,000 being donated through our website.

P articipants of our No Limits programme in Taranaki.

No Limits – giving youth a little nudge to unlock their potential


eonte Ngatai was a shy, withdrawn 11 year old boy. His family had recently moved to Manaia, on the coast at the foot of Mount Taranaki’s southern slopes. “He began to lack confidence in his ability in discussions and leadership roles, shying away from taking the limelight,” his mother Donna says. Keonte has recently completed New Zealand Red Cross’ No Limits youth programme, designed to empower 10 to 12 year olds through personal development and positive

integration to reach their full potential. Donna says Keonte feels important again. No Limits selects students who, due to socioeconomic, family situations, bullying, shyness or social isolation, would not normally get an opportunity to attend a development programme. Students are initially nominated by schools, police youth aid, big brothers and sisters, youth organisations including Whanau Ora, Barnardos and Child Youth and Family to partake in the three day programme.

Once selected, Red Cross then invites students (with caregiver consent) to participate, at no cost. New Zealand Red Cross Taranaki Area Manager Karen Lawson says the programme, which has been running since August 2010, is a community partnership designed to make children believe in themselves again. The course combines a unique mix of outdoor education skills, activities and educational modules provided by police, army, fire service, Department of Conservation, surf lifesaving, dieticians and chefs. “The programme has a lasting effect on participants. It teaches them that they can do and are capable of anything. The only limit is yourself.”


2012 Annual Appeal


he annual SEE RED appeal was a great success. Teams from across the country were out in force putting in a tremendous effort to enable us to reach our target of $450,000 before the end of March.

Messages of Hope By Katie Isaac Australian Red Cross

On 16 March a sea of red collectors lined local pathways drumming up support and collecting donations for Red Cross.


aying goodbye to a loved one in any circumstance can be hard. In situations of conflict, where people don’t know if they will ever see or hear from family and friends again, this can be devastating. This was the case when Isha Munya fled war torn Somalia in 1990 with her husband and five children and was forced to leave her eldest daughter, eight-yearold Faduma, in Somalia with her grandmother Akrabo.

Wellington volunteers were first to the streets completing their collection

Leaving them in war torn Somalia meant that staying in touch with them was going to be difficult. As the years past, Isha lost contact with her mother and Faduma. ‘It makes me cry when I think about it,’ says Isha. In 2006, Isha contacted Red Cross in Adelaide and a case was opened to trace her daughter and mother. Through the Red Cross global network in 188 countries, people all over


National Fundraising Manager Alice Montague put the challenge to businesses across New Zealand to wear red and not let the colour of hope fade. This year thanks to your support the country will continue to SEE RED.

by Penny Mason, New Zealand Red Cross National President

Photo: Australia Red Cross / Mourne de Klerk

For eight years Isha lived in neighbouring Kenya moving between four different refugee camps. In 1998 she, her husband and their children, set off for Australia to start a new life in Adelaide, safe from conflict.

However, Isha bore the burden of being separated from her daughter and mother.

Central Auckland was lit up for the appeal with the Sky Tower, Aotea Square, The Cloud and Auckland Museum turning red for Red Cross.

Recognition of an ‘Amazing Job’

‘Saying goodbye to her felt like my stomach was torn out,’ remembers Isha of the heartbreaking moment when she realised she had to be separated from her child.

‘I felt relieved when I arrived here, it brought me inner happiness and peace. My children have an education and can get jobs,’ she says, still smiling.

on 7 March.

Isha fled war torn Somalia.

the world who are separated from loved ones by war, conflict or disaster can access the Red Cross restoring family links service to try and locate and send messages to people. It is the only one of its kind in the world and is provided free of charge.

‘The whole Somali community went to the airport. We arrived an hour early, we were so excited.’

Isha’s search was successful. Through the service, she found Akrabo and Faduma, and they were able to send each other messages. Eventually, in 2009, Faduma came to Australia and was reunited with Isha.

‘I love my mother,’ says Isha, with sadness in her smile.

‘It was the happiest day,’ says Isha.

Today, Faduma lives near her mother in Adelaide, and is married with two young children of her own. All of Isha’s surviving children now live in Australia.

Isha continues to communicate with Akrabo through Red Cross and hangs on to the hope that one day she will be able to give her mum a big hug and tell her, face to face, that she loves her.

As I headed for Hagley Park to attend the Memorial Service to mark the first anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake knowing I was to receive a special award, I was not sure what to expect. I eventually found myself lining up with representatives from the other organisations which were also being recognised for their “first response” efforts. There were about ten of us but I was the only woman, the only person not in a uniform, and the only recipient

who was there as a volunteer rather than a staff member. I felt so proud as I walked up the stairs on to the stage hearing Red Cross and my name being announced. The mayor greeted me with a warm handshake and the words “you people have done an amazing job”. I felt humble indeed to receive this very special award on behalf of all the people who had done so much. It was a moment during my term that will stay with me for a long time.

Restoring Family Links Red Cross helps reconnect families separated by war, conflict or disaster through our global restoring family links service. By exchanging family news, re-establishing contact and clarifying the fate of the missing in 188 countries we provide peace of mind and hope to people who have been separated from their loved ones. Last year, New Zealand Red Cross helped to reconnect 832 people with loved ones through our Restoring Family Links programme.

P enny Mason receiving Red Cross’ award from Christchurch mayor Bob Parker.


KindRed Newsletter April 2012  
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