On 12 April, over 150 families and friends attended the Hamilton Multicultural Services (HMS) Trust graduation evening at the WINTEC Atrium, Hamilton.
The HMS Trust oversees the Waikato Settlement Centre and provides a number of services and programmes to assist migrant and refugees settling in Hamilton. These include Migrant Employment Solutions, Computers in Homes, Interpreting and Translation Services and the Passport 2 Drive Programme.
The evening celebrated over 50 graduates, and the placement of 60 people into employment. Speakers included Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher, and HMS Trust Chairperson, Natasha Harvey, with entertainment by Te Kowhai School Kapa Haka Group.
The HMS Trust and the Waikato Settlement Centre have piloted a number of programmes that shaped nationwide strategies. They are currently piloting the Refugee Cycle Training Project as part of the Refugee Transportation Orientation Strategy delivered by New Zealand Red Cross. Tania Pointon, Manager of Passport to Drive Programme, spoke of the value this project provides for migrants not only in orientation but as an affordable option for independence whilst working towards their motor vehicle license.
Ellie Wilkinson, HMS Trust Operations Manager, acknowledged the collaborative support from local organisations as well as the numerous volunteers who assisted the graduates on their journey's so far.
If you are interested in joining one of these programmes please contact: the Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust on 07 853 2192 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org