Bay of Plenty Chinese Speaking Families coffee and playgroup welcomes parents who speak Chinese to its weekly sessions in Tauranga.
Local Plunket Nurse Tany Ngar initiated the group because there were a number of Chinese speaking mothers with young babies who she wanted to bring together for mutual support.
Caroline Lin is one of three volunteer members who keep the group going. She says it provides a place for Chinese speaking parents to go. "Bringing up a family in a different country can be hard" she says. "The group is a place where they can meet and talk freely in their mother tongue, make new friends, discuss their concerns or get reassurance from others".
Caroline says the group can provide support to people who are new to the city and don't know many people or what is available. "There are mums and dads who are not so confident communicating with others in English. A group like this can also give them and their children a sense of familiarity and belonging. I feel they can have deeper discussions on the topics they want to talk about in their mother tongue," she says.
The group uses the social app "WeChat" to keep in touch with one another and plan its activities.
She says Plunket has been very supportive of the group. "There are not enough words for me to say how lucky these mums and children are to have such a wonderful supportive, loving and caring organisations such as Plunket".
Caroline has other volunteering roles for Plunket as well. She has translated Plunket resources into Chinese, helped out at Plunket events, provided information to staff about the needs of Chinese-speaking families and has been minute-taker for the local Area Board. "I found a place, Plunket, that I can put my skills into good use while I am a full-time mum," Caroline says. "I'm useful to the society and community. I really enjoy all the things that I am doing here, and being with other people as well".
0 Comments Posted by Mamae Munn on 14 September 2016