We offer a number of free and confidential programmes designed to help former refugees settle into their lives in New Zealand. These programmes enhance the core services provided by the Clinical Team.

Families in Cultural Transition (FICT) Programme

FICT is a ten-module programme, developed by STARTTS in Sydney, for refugees who have been here less than two years. As a group-based programme with bilingual facilitators, FICT is designed to assist refugee families who are making a cultural transition.

This programme aims to:

• Reduce social isolation in refugee families
• Strengthen family relationships by providing relationship, communication and parenting skills
• Normalise symptoms and responses to migration and trauma
• Help early identification of more serious psychological problems, as well as problems with family dynamics
• Develop capacities of refugee communities through training and support of bicultural facilitators.

Burmese refugees doing an workshop activity

Burmese refugees doing a workshop activity

CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) Training Programme

CALD training is a practical programme designed to improve the awareness, knowledge and skills to work with and understand former refugees or those from refugee type backgrounds as well as migrants. This includes working with interpreters effectively to improve communication.The overall goal is to assist participants gain an understanding of the challenge CALD clients face and for participants to develop skills in cross cultural competency to aid successful interaction with CALD clients.

CALD is of particular relevance to professionals whose patients/clients are from migrant backgrounds. Health professionals from: psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychotherapy, counselling and health education.

This programme is CME recognised as well as meeting Cultural Competency training requirements within many professions memberships/registrations. It is also currently being incorporated into an NZQA recognised qualification.

If you would like to register for the latest CALD training progamme, please click here.

Home Safety Programme in conjunction with ACC

The Home Safety Programme has been developed jointly by our Cross Cultural Advocate and ACC to teach former refugees about all aspects of home safety. The first part of the programme (delivered with Red Cross Refugee Services as part of their induction programme for new arrivals) involves a workshop for newly arrived refugees to raise awareness about home safety. Participants are shown a series of photos depicting families doing something wrong (e.g. no guard on an open fire) followed by another photo of a family doing it right (e.g. showing a guard to cover a fireplace). These photos show all aspects of home safety, including some outside (e.g. playing on the footpath; wearing helmets while riding bikes etc).

The second part of the programme is a workshop for community leaders, so that they can then make individual home visits to assess safety and report back on what action is required, e.g. acquiring a torch or a first aid kit.

Photograph showing the danger of a pot on a stove

Photograph showing the danger of a pot on a stove

Tamariki Kahukura/Rainbow Programme The Tamariki Kahukura Programme helps refugee children (9-12 year olds) make the best possible start to resettlement in New Zealand. It requires collaboration between school staff and specialists with expertise in working with people from refugee backgrounds. Whilst acknowledging the stresses inherent in the refugee experience and the settlement challenges facing refugee children and their families, the programme strongly emphasises the development of hope and a positive sense of the future.

The Tamariki Kahukura Programme aims to:
• Strengthen children’s learning capacity and emotional adjustment
• Foster stronger links between schools and parents of refugee children through specialised staff development and teacher-parent sessions
• Establish constructive relationships between children, schools and families with a view to building a platform for children’s sent and future educational success.

The Tamariki Kahukura Programme includes:

• A seven session structured arts-based programme for children
• Three sessions for parents, designed as an adjunct to the core children’s component
• A programme briefing session and professional development component for teachers.



Capoeira is an intervention that introduces the Afro-Brazilian form of Capoeira  to disadvantaged youth. This programme is delivered by Professor Perere who is a Brazilian born teacher. Capoeira encompasses dance, martial arts, acrobatics, music and philosophy, promoting health and fitness.


Capoeira at Naenae College


Art Project

On World Refugee Day we brought students together from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, including refugee backgrounds. The purpose was for children to share in a day of art exploration and friendship. Students from Burma, Somalia, Cambodia and Congo participated in the day.

The art exhibition was a colourful display of decorative kites painted by a group of students. The kite itself represents the freedom to move and aspire to greater things, and this is particularly pertinent for refugee background children who are now able to express themselvesin a safe and free environment where hopes and dreams are possible.
The art project is a partnership between Wellesley College and Refugee Trauma Recovery.

Art Exhibition

Art Exhibition

Refugee Safety and Wellbeing Day

The Refugee Safety and Wellbeing Day is held once a year and is a joint venture between ACC and Refugee Trauma Recovery. A full day’s programme is planned and involves many other organisations such as Plunket, the Police, and the NZ Fire Service. Each organisation has a static display and several put on demonstrations around different aspects of safety and of healthy living. These events have been held in Newtown, Lower Hutt, and Porirua.

Compass Health

Compass Health at the Refugee Safety and Wellbeing Day in Porirua