Neighbourhood Community Ambassadors Project Delivered by Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust
Area: Around Onehunga, New Market, Royal Oak
Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust Inc provides social support services to senior citizens of Indian and South Asian Origin
since 1994. It runs a need based activity centre thrice a week for lonely and isolated older people and once a week for people with Special needs in Onehunga. We also provide Elder Abuse and Neglect prevention service, counselling, advocacy, translation, help accessing any age related services and help them integrate into New Zealand society for the betterment of the quality of life of seniors and their families.
In the course of our work some of the issues identified were
- Social Isolation, lack of knowledge of community links, elder abuse, unable to integrate into NZ culture
- Lack of opportunity to participate and contribute to the society.
- These issues cause feeling of depression, low self-esteem and loss of confidence.
- Soft targets for crime, scam and abuse.
- The aim is to engage the elderly Asian people to become Safety Ambassadors to run effective campaigns together with the Community Policing or Neighborhood support teams etc. on safety issues.
- To keep seniors and the community safe through education on crime prevention, safety etc.
- Many seniors expressed their interest to do more for the society and contribute their time voluntarily.
- This pilot project was initiated to involve and engage the seniors meaningfully.
- Opportunity to participate and contribute.
- Aid “Prevention First” strategy of NZ Police.
- This project address both the needs of the seniors and also target the identified needs in the community through the Prevention First strategy.
- Delivered in collaboration with NZ Police – Auckland Central District, Auckland City Council and Onehunga Chinese senior group.
- This program is held once a month and managed by Shanti Niwas with the help of the community police.
- 25 seniors have enrolled to deliver the project so far.
- Onehunga and surrounding suburbs (Onehunga, Royal Oak, One tree hill etc.)
- Seniors who wants to volunteer go through police security clearance.
- Community police officers train the group and take them out in the community to disseminate quality crime prevention and safety messages and distribute flyers etc.
Some of the issues covered includes:
- Business Crime Prevention
- Crime stoppers
- Car theft and safety measures
- Empower seniors, reduce social isolation
- Seniors are motivated, builds their confidence
- Feel part of the community
- Gain knowledge of Safety issues
- Seniors association with the police will also help to protect themselves from elder abuse and neglect issues.
- Increase connectivity, build capacity and social cohesion
- Build resilient communities
- Create “feel safe, be safe” aspect
- Our goal is to take this group into a more strategic level and partner with other agencies to bring out better outcomes for the communities.
- The CSA volunteers network, a source whom we can access for future safety/community projects.
We have extend this service in the area of Civil Defence Management