CRS Under 5s and Parents’ Expo 2019

Sally Pitama from Ngāi Tahu opens the event

Every year, CRS hosts an expo for parents of young children from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The event is an opportunity for parents to learn about services and information relevant to their circumstances. Attendees are divided into language groups, each with an interpreter, and invited to take part in various activities.

At the 2019 event, held on 28 June, 52 parents attended with 54 children. Attendees came from 15 diverse ethnic backgrounds, with interpreters provided for languages as required.

Event attendees took part in information sessions which included a workshop on Supporting Children with Trauma and Loss, and a workshop on Music and Movement. Attendees also visited information stalls. Some of the stalls were hosted by key organisations in the childcare sector such as Plunket, Breastfeeding Canterbury, Pregnancy Centre and Porse In-Home Care. There were also stalls from general support agencies like Citizens Advice Bureau, and health agencies such as Pegasus Health and BreastScreen Aotearoa, which were able to use the event to advertise their services. In addition, agencies like the New Zealand Police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand were present and promoted messages of safety (for example, around the correct use of fire alarms). Because event attendees visited these stalls with their interpreters, they are able to get information presented to them in their own languages, and ask questions for further clarification if required.