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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: MSD – Office for Seniors

Projects focusing on supporting seniors from diverse ethnic backgrounds are getting a funding boost from the Office for Seniors after the latest round of Community Connects grants.

Over the past three years, Community Connects grants of up to $15,000 have been allocated to help communities plan or implement initiatives to make their community or city more age friendly. Three out of the seven successful projects this funding round are helping specific ethic communities.

Waikato Indian Senior Citizen’s Association’s project will provide weekly programme for local seniors where they can get together, play games, hear from guest speakers, share views and learn from each-other.

“The aim of the programme is to enhance quality of life and reduce isolation and loneliness among ethnic Indian seniors,” says said Waikato Senior Indian Citizens Association Treasurer, Jiwan Singh Dhaliwal.

“We are extremely grateful to the Office of Seniors for their Community Connects grant funding to assist us with this crucial project.”

For their project The Rotorua Multicultural Council is collaborating with Parksyde, a community centre for those aged 55 and over and SeniorNet, a community training network that supports older adults in improving their computer skills. The programme will introduce older migrants in Rotorua to the activities available through these two organisations and involve them in multicultural events to improve their community connections.

“There are so many wonderful activities available for seniors in Rotorua, but older migrants are often unaware of these programmes,” says Dr Margriet Theron, President of the Rotorua Multicultural Council.

“We will use our networks with over 60 ethnic communities and the generous Community Connects funding from the Office for Seniors to enrich the lives of our senior migrants.”

The Family Centre in Lower Hutt is focused on Pasifika seniors. They will be using the funding to develop an age friendly plan for Pasifika seniors in the Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata.

Director of the Office for Seniors, Diane Turner, says initiatives like these are important for planning for the diverse needs of all seniors and our ageing population.

“New Zealand is becoming increasingly diverse and numbers of older people are growing across all ethnicities,” she says.

“There are more than 200 ethnic groups in New Zealand, and collectively, we speak 190 different languages,”

“With the right planning and support, we can create more cohesive environments where older people from all ethnic backgrounds have opportunities to connect with the community.”

For more information on Community Connects grants go to www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz

MIL OSI