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Friday, 26 April 2019 05:51 pm

New Zealanders get behind refugee crisis on Facebook


Across the top

Screenshot from the Facebook event, ‘Open homes – Open borders – We will host a refugee – Aotearoa’

NEW ZEALANDERS offered to open their homes to refugees via social network.

Urs Signer started a Facebook campaign to encourage people to let refugees into their homes after seeing Iceland had done similar.

The event ‘Open homes – Open borders – We will host a refugee – Aotearoa’ has 2900 people attending since it was created early Thursday morning.

The page is filled with people offering their home and help to refugees.

Jenny McGarvie’s comment was typical of other posts on the Facebook page: “More than happy to host a family for as long as they need – it’s the least we can do.”

The page has also been home to people commenting that we need to fix New Zealand’s poverty problems first.

“I think standing in solidarity with refugees and fighting against poverty aren’t mutually exclusive” Signer said.

“We have a lot more in common with refugees fleeing from war-torn countries than we do with the rich living in this country”

Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, announced this afternoon that New Zealand will be accepting 750 Syrian refugees over the next three years.

However Signer has already said that this is not enough.

“The number raised by the Syrian community of 10,000 is probably a good starting point.

“People want to do more than what the government is currently doing and what the government is proposing is not enough.”

Distance can make it difficult for refugees to actually make their way to New Zealand.

Therefore he said the page’s main purpose was to create an environment to accept and support refugees.

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