All posts by Peace & Social Justice Group

Pacific Dyslexia Aid – June 2021 Update

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Although Tonga fortunately has no community transmission of COVID-19, travel there is not possible at present and thus the pandemic has seriously affected our ability to train teachers in the use of Steps as well as supply laptops to schools.

Our main effort has shifted to attempting to collect from New Zealand companies laptops which are up for replacement. We will then provide them to Tongan primary schools as soon as we can. In addition, fund raising continues in order to purchase new laptops for the schools.

We look forward to being able to return to Tonga and assist their Ministry staff to expand this valuable and well received Steps literacy programme, especially helpful for dyslexic children.

Tongan teachers and Ministry of Education and Training staff with certified Steps Pacific Islands literacy trainer Dr Paul Henriques of our Auckland Unitarian Peace and Social Justice Group, in January 2020.

India Covid-19 Humanitarian Crisis

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While NZ has been at Covid-19 Alert Level 1 for some time and life for most has largely returned to “normal”, the Covid-19 virus is spreading exponentially overseas, and especially so in India. With more infectious variants occurring, India is in crisis and in desperate need of medical supplies including oxygen, respirators, PPE and isolation facilities. Hospitals are overflowing.

Continue reading India Covid-19 Humanitarian Crisis

Help a Kid to Camp – Thank You!!

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Thanks to everyone for the tremendous support for this campaign! 

Through your efforts, church members have sponsored 43 Year 7 & 8 Glen Taylor School students to the school camp at Kawau Island held later this month.  Sponsorship for these students is very much appreciated, and the school’s Principal, Chris Herlihy, sends huge thanks to all! 

Read the original appeal for more about this campaign

Help a Kid to Camp

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The Help a Kid to Camp campaign for Glen Taylor School is a request for sponsorship to enable students in this decile 1a school to attend a school camp on Kawau Island in May this year.

You can read all about it on the sponsorship form.

If you want to sponsor a student, then we ask that you:-

  • donate to the church’s account, Auckland Unitarian Church, 02 0100 0024691 00 and reference the donation as “Kids Camp”
  • Return the sponsorship form to:-, or to Gary or Brenda on a Sunday morning.

The Peace & Social Justice Group will send the sponsorship forms into Glen Taylor School so that sponsors can be matched with a student. 

The campaign finishes Friday 7th May, and we ask that all sponsorship donations are made before that date.

Peace & Social Justice Report – July 2020

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Peace & Social Justice Report – July 2020

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Brenda reports that in the Food Parcel Assistance for Glen Taylor School (GTS) during lockdown, in which much of the congregation was involved, a total of $2,370 was donated by us which meant many families in their local communities were helped. The principal of GTS and Clay put together a Sunday Zoom service on 17th May which was much enjoyed.

When asked how we could best help advocate for GTS, the principal suggested we could help ensure the promised upgrade to the school property actually occurs, support an increase in wages for Teacher Aids, and continue to press for an end to child poverty and a reduction in inequality.

Continue reading Peace & Social Justice Report – July 2020

Amnesty International Rapid Response Letters – June 2020

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China: Letter to Secretary of Justice

Concerning 15 prominent pro-democracy leaders being prosecuted for “organising and taking part in unauthorised assemblies”. These charges are based on the Public Order Ordinance, the provisions and application of which fail to meet international human rights law and standards on the right to peaceful assembly. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has repeatedly expressed concern that the implementation of the Public Order Ordinance may facilitate excessive restrictions to the right to peaceful assembly and called for its review.

Egypt: Letter to Public Prosecutor, 22nd April 2020

Regarding Human Rights defender Patrick Zaki George, asking that he be released from detention as he has been detained solely due to his human rights work and political opinions that he has expressed on social media. Also asking for an independent investigation into allegations of torture and that he be guarantee access to his lawyer and adequate health care. Especially as he is vulnerable to Covid 19.

Amnesty International Rapid Response Letters – April 2020

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Pakistan: Letter sent 22nd April 2020 to chief minister, Punjab.

Expressing concern for prisoners in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions, especially in a time of COVID.

Bangldesh: Letter sent to 18th April to Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan, MP, Minister of Home Affairs.

Concerning Shaifqul Islam Kajol, a Bangladeshi newspaper editor and photographer, who has not been seen or heard from since the day police registered a case against him and 31 others, under the highly repressive Digital Security Act. He was last seen leaving his newspaper off ice on the evening of 10 March 2020, and his family has not heard of nor seen him since then. The police have denied having him in custody, and his family fears that he could be a victim of enforced disappearance.

Russia: Letter sent 16th April 2020 to the Military Prosecutor.

Concerning Server Mustafayev, a human rights defender from Crimea, who is currently standing trial before the Southern Region Military Court and facing up to 25 years in jail if convicted. He and two of his co-defendants, Memet Belyalov and Seyran Saliyev, have recently developed the symptoms of a viral respiratory infection (VRI). Despite this, they were brought to the court and forced to spend there several hours, suffering from their medical condition and without food or water, while their hearing was ongoing. They are being denied adequate medical care.

Peace and Social Justice Group – February 2020 update

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with Paul Henriques

Peace and Social Justice Group – February 2020 update
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Paul Henriques © 16 February 2020

Duffy Books in Homes

Our Peace and Social Justice (PSJ) sponsorship of the Glen Taylor School, which enables their participation in the Duffy Books in Homes programme, continues to reward us with great satisfaction. The children are thriving with the supplied books. PSJ representatives will attend a role model assembly at the school in March and I’m sure Brenda and Gary will provide more details on that after we’ve been.

Continue reading Peace and Social Justice Group – February 2020 update