Vinnies News Weekly

September, Week 2

 Wednesday

WEAVING THE BONDS OF BELONGING

“Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together…” 
-Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 2015, #92
To mark the beginning of the Social Justice Week in Auckland the Social Justice and Peace Commission hosted a workshop on building community and relationships. Cathy Bi-Riley from Caritas and Delphina  Soti of Society of St Vincent de Paul were invited as guest speakers. Cathy spoke about  Disconnection and community and the challenges presented to us by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’. Delphina Soti unpacked the concept of disconnection and then linked this to lived experience of engaging and building connections with people. They both spoke about the how we are called to belong and the importance of the concept of  Kanoi ki te Kanohi (face to face ).
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Friday

Final Exec Meeting 2017

This Friday we had our final Auckland Vinnies Secondary School Council (AVSSC) meeting for 2017. Throughout the year, our council which was made up of secondary school vinnies leaders had met at least once a month so that they could grow closer as a collective and to also grow as leaders as well. This final meeting was more of a celebration for all the work that they had done throughout the year, as a council and also school leaders. They were presented with a Spoken Word performance by Marina Alefosio which relected Marinas experiance with growing up and the a few of the struggles that our council members could relate to. They were then taken through a reflection part of the day, looking at the ups and downs of the year and what they could have done better. It was filled with deep thought and a series of memories, as it was the last time they would gather in that space.

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Sunday

Walking in Hope

Sunday, 10th September marks the World Suicide Awareness Day. All over the world different collectives show their solidarity by holding whats called HopeWalk, a vigil and awareness session to bring attention to this growing social issue. Over the past 2 years the HopeWalk Suicide Prevention Movement has mobilised thousands of people to attend their suicide awareness/prevention events and to also attend projects like HopeWalk, Lights 4 Lives and Link 4 Life. Today, at 4am in the morning, Yvonne Purcell with her team leaders coordinated Youth and Vinnies in West Auckland in their own Hopewalk and their reflective installation of 606 pairs of shoes representing lives lost to suicide in New Zealand in 2017.

A young man, Kulu Liava’a, who attended reflected on the event:

There’s SOMETHING about looking at 606 empty pairs of shoes … You look on at the shoes bathed in the sombre glow of the moon and think … Some of these shoes belonged to someone JUST like me or someone in my family or my friends. Its not and issue that belongs to a certain group anymore. Its a MUCH bigger issue that belongs to everyone. Its something we need to talk about more … from the dim light of electric candles to the awes the people, bring a new hope and message: Let us help you out of darkness. Talk to someone. Listen to someone. Care MORE. Love MORE. Help each other walk tall against the rain.

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