Tevita Funaki, CEO of The Fono – an organisation providing medical and social services to Pacific communities in Auckland and Northland, has a clear message to those needing food and welfare support during the unexpected Alert Level 3 lockdown.
“We are ready to respond,” he says.
The Fono and other community organisations across Auckland including Pasifika Futures partners; The Village Community Services Trust, Mt Wellington Integrated Health Care and South Seas Healthcare, mobilised their staff and resources immediately in preparation to support vulnerable families who need urgent assistance.
Since the announcement, Mr Funaki’s team have been working around the clock to restock their shelves, made possible through donations from local businesses and support from the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) through Pasifika Futures – the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families.
“We’ve been through this before, this is our third lockdown. Our team are experienced now and are familiar with what support our communities need “, says Mr Funaki.
The Fono is providing support to the three family members who tested positive for Covid-19 and eleven of their close contacts, who are currently in isolation. The organisation is also heavily involved with contact tracing and Mr Funaki anticipates that they will be given more referrals in the coming days.
“We provide these families with food and other things that they may need, especially if they have young children. But we also assess their needs and support them if they need help with paying their rent or utilities and so we can refer them to other agencies, like Work and Income.”
The sudden 3-day lockdown has left many Pacific families feeling anxious and uncertain but Mr Funaki says that his organisation, like others through Pasifika Futures are here to support families and ease the pressure.
“Our families are nervous and have a lot of questions. But we are a resilient community and there are organisations that will always be here and ready to help.”
If you would like to access a Family Support Package please contact one of our partners below who are happy to help.
Date: Wednesday 17 February 2021