News October Update - Our People, Our City fund
Update from Raf Manji
Over the last month, I have continued to meet with victims of the attacks, the wider community, expert advisors and government agencies. Overall, I have conducted over 125 meetings, with 100 face to face conversations, 25 phone calls and multiple emails and texts. All these meetings have been very helpful in forming views as to the needs of the victims and the wider community, and I am very grateful for the detailed feedback.
There is still considerable stress and worry in the community. Some of the underlying issues, such as visa status for victims and their wider families/whanau remain a concern, though good progress is being made through the appeal process. There is continued anxiety over jobs, housing and income, and simply trying to get back to normal life. The knock on effects are amplified in every aspect of people’s lives, and there is ongoing financial stress, not withstanding the payouts from Victim Support.
It is clear to me from my many conversations that whilst the funds from the Christchurch Foundation will help individual victims and families financially, there will still be a requirement for long-term Government support for mental health and trauma, job training, housing, inclusion and community capacity building. I will be recommending that the Foundation provide some support in those areas,
alongside the Government, Council and other Community and Private Foundations.
My main recommendation will be to still focus on the financial needs of the victims of the attacks, as well as providing long-term tertiary education support for children of those most affected and building capacity in the community, specifically in the youth sector.
I will be making detailed recommendations to the Trustees of the Christchurch Foundation at the end of October and expect a formal decision towards the end of November, with funds to be distributed in early December.
- Raf Manji, Independent Advisor to the Christchurch Foundation