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The Power of Collaboration - Achieving More Together


The founding of Te Ohu Whakawhanaunga in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, September 2023


Collaborations and partnerships are an important part of our work. We believe that what we do together can make a difference.


In this post, the HOST team reflects on our collaborations over the past year.


Working in the former refugee sector here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we have come to realise that collaboration isn't just a buzzword; it's a lifeline for organisations like HOST International Aotearoa. At HOST, our values of innovation, respect, integrity, compassion, and diversity are not just words on paper; they're guiding principles that shape our every action, especially when it comes to collaboration.


Collaboration is the cornerstone of our operations because it's through working together with partners like ChangeMakers Resettlement Forum, Belong Aotearoa, New Zealand National Refugee Youth Council, and others that we can truly live up to our purpose, improving outcomes for displaced people and their hosting communities. Each of these partnerships adds a unique perspective and expertise that enriches our approach, allowing us to foster humanity, hope, and dignity in tangible ways.


Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much


Collaboration isn't just beneficial for us as an organisation, it's crucial for individual wellbeing, community cohesion, and driving structural change. By breaking down barriers and silos, we can create a more inclusive environment where displaced individuals and whānau (families) feel supported and empowered to rebuilding their lives. This, in turn, fosters stronger community bonds and paves the way for systemic changes.


Our current work with Approved Sponsors within the Community Refugee Sponsorship extended pilot programme is a good example of leveraging resources and expertise. This in turn provides a comprehensive support network for refugees, ensuring they have access to essential services and opportunities for meaningful engagement within communities in Aotearoa. This not only enhances individual/whānau wellbeing but also promotes community cohesion by fostering belonging and shared responsibility.


Unity is strength


Furthermore, collaboration extends beyond traditional boundaries, as evidenced by our partnerships with institutions like The Electoral Commission, Te Ohu Whakawhanaunga, the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment and The Refugee Alliance. Through these collaborations, we can advocate for policy changes that uphold the rights and dignity of displaced individuals, driving structural change at a systemic level. By amplifying the voices of displaced people and leveraging collective influence, we can break down institutional barriers and create more inclusive policies that benefit everyone.


First in-person gathering of The Refugee Alliance in October 2023


In essence, collaboration isn't just important, it's essential for the holistic wellbeing of displaced individuals, the cohesion of host communities, and the advancement of structural change. At HOST International Aotearoa, we understand that our values aren't just ideals to aspire to but principles to live by, and collaboration is the vehicle through which we can turn those values into tangible impact.


"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."

Edward Everett Hale


Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient former refugee sector in Aotearoa, one rooted in humanity, hope, and dignity for all.

 

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.

My strength is not mine alone, it comes from the collective.

 

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