New Zealanders from refugee backgrounds participating fully in New Zealand life
Awha Information Hub
The word ahwa (colloquial pronunciation of qahwa) means coffee, especially the coffee houses one finds in the old cities of Cairo and Damascus – places where people socialise, gossip and tell stories. It is a place where people meet to feel connected with their community.
The “coffee club” theme is regularly used by community organisations to provide a social space for refugee and migrant communities, which often evolve into support services. Coffee clubs aim to build both a social space and an environment where important information can be disseminated.
ChangeMakers Refugee Forum’s “Ahwa” project is broadly aimed at breaking isolation in refugee communities. It has two specific aims:
- the first is to encourage and increase social participation of isolated community members
- the second is for isolated community members to become more aware of available services.
ChangeMakers' Ahwa project is inclusive of all ethnicities and age groups, and is not gender specific.