Shakti Wellington Refuge has been denied allocated contracted funding again

Shakti Wellington Refuge has been denied allocated contracted funding again
Photo credit: Supplied - Shakti

Shakti Wellington Refuge says they have been denied allocated funding again, allegedly after over five years of negotiations with the Ministry of Social Development.

However, the Ministry of Social Development says that "Shakti was allocated $122,000 as a result of new funding announced by the government in Budget 2018. This was in addition to the level of funding contracted in previous years".

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shakti is a non-profit organisation serving migrant and refugee women of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin. 

It has now launched a crowd funding campaign in light of its alleged denied funding. 

Shakti spokesperson Mengzhu Fu says the organisation was "very hopeful when the Government announced its increase in funding for the family violence sector. While this new government has been more sympathetic, this has not translated into contracted funding for Shakti. 

"We have not been given an explanation."

According to Ms Fu "It has been a humiliating and frustrating process to beg for funding, only to be denied over and over again".

Marama Edwards, the group general manager for Community Partnerships and Programmes at the Ministry of Social Development denies this, saying that

"On 2 July we provided Shakti with a formal funding offer of $627,451, which included the additional funding. We gave them a second, more specific offer on 17 August. This second offer provided Shakti with three options on how the additional funding could be applied across their contract…. Shakti chose the option which meant their Wellington services would remain unfunded."

Ms Fu went on to say that Shakti "have no choice but to turn to the community for emergency financial support. The holiday period is the busiest time of year for crisis calls and we need community support to get us through." 

However Ms Edwards says that the offer from the Ministry of Social Development was given in a way that would allow "Shakti to have flexibility to decide how their organisation would use the additional funding being offered."

She goes on to say that  "reducing family and sexual violence is a priority for the Ministry and we are supportive of the services that Shakti provide the community. Shakti have been involved in the sector consultation on our Family Violence Funding Plan, which will outline how we will invest in family violence services over the next four years."

The 16 days of activism began on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and will run until December 10, which is International Human Rights Day.

The portraits will be released across Shakti's social media platforms.

The original portraits will be available at Shakti's Art exhibition and auction fundraiser "Empowered Women Empower Women" on December 5 at Studio One Toi Tū in Auckland. 

The petition to Save Shakti Wellington Refuge will be delivered to parliament on December 6. The organisation aims to reach 5,000 signatures before this date.

This story was updated on 30 November to reflect the input of Ministry of Social Development.

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