It is now one week on from the horrific and tragic murder of innocent people in the Christchurch mosques, and the initial shock is starting to give way to other emotions. VSA CEO Stephen Goodman reflects on the last week.

We are still feeling numb. How could this happen? Why did it happen? While we reflect and question, there have been some positives. Communities are casting aside differences and reaching out with care and compassion - to the Muslim community, the people of Christchurch, and across communities throughout our country. People’s love, support, and generosity of spirit are replacing intolerance and hatred. That sense of community is so important - it should be at the core of who we are and how we live our lives.

Like everyone, last week's events impacted me hard and caused me to reflect on what I personally do, or should do to make our world better.  It made me look at what we at VSA do as part of this. I was drawn back to our vision: "A world with thriving communities".  More than just words, this simple statement should be, and is, what we are about. The overriding purpose of what we do is to help build stronger and better communities in the places we work. All communities, whether they be across the world, the wider Pacific, in New Zealand, or specifically in Christchurch, should be safe, open and caring. All of us have a part in that.

"We are one" (Prime Minister Jacinda Adern - Friday 15 March 2019)

Butterfly Bougainville

Fundraising support:  
  • Al Manar Trust – This trust has launched an emergency appeal for victims to offer help from the community around New Zealand to support the affected families. 
  • NZ Victim Support - The New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups has also set up a GiveALittle crowdfunding campaign. All donations received to the page will provide support and resources for people, and their family members, impacted by the shootings in Christchurch.
  • NZ Islamic Information Centre - The New Zealand Islamic Information Centre (NZIIC) has established a crowdfunding campaign on Launchgood. All funds raised distributed to the victims and families affected by the Christchurch attack. All proceeds will go towards helping with their immediate, short-term needs.
  • Donations are being accepted by the Muslim Association of Taranaki - Humanitarian Appeal Fund which has been set up to assist in the relief efforts for the Muslim Community in Christchurch. TSB Bank: 15-3953-0357272-03 Reference: Christchurch.
  • Donation are being accepted by the  Canterbury Muslim Community Trust.   A finance committee has been established to manage the funds. CMCT Bank Account No:  38–9016-0346947-01 Ref:  ChCh Muslims
  • Donations are being accepted for The Christchurch Foundation's Our People, Our City Fund at most banks or by bank transfer to the following bank account: The Christchurch Foundation 15-3976-0091104-80. The foundation will work with Muslim communities to distribute the fund.