Settled communities, unsettling news

Speak Up-Kōrerotia is a human rights radio show/podcast which is hosted by CRS Board Member Sally Carlton and recorded at Plains FM in Christchurch. The latest show is on the topic “Settled communities, unsettling news” and looks at how distressing news from their home countries impacts refugee- and migrant-background people living in Christchurch.

Sally interviews four guests: Zahra Hussaini and Gul Agha Alizadah from Christchurch’s Afghan Hazara community; Osmith Vides Contreras, an international student from Colombia; and Maha Elmadani who, on paper, is a New Zealand Jordanian but who also identifies as Palestinian.

It is striking that, despite the differences in the guests’ national or ethnic identity, the reasons they came to Aotearoa New Zealand, or the news they were reflecting on, they described incredibly similar feelings when confronted with distressing news from their home countries: anger, fear for their loved ones still living overseas, impotence, symptoms like trouble sleeping and not being able to concentrate on studies, guilt. The guests stressed that they feel they need to make the most of the life they have been blessed with, including using the liberties and freedoms that we have here to raise awareness of human rights abuses and to advocate for change.

This is a powerful and moving show, and well worth a listen for people interested in gaining insight into the highs and lows of settlement.