Toy bears gifted to refugee children on arrival to Christchurch - their new home

A Christchurch woman has raised thousands of dollars to buy teddy bears for former refugee children.

She was inspired when she received a teddy after her father survived the Christchurch mosque shootings.

It was a warm welcome to Christchurch for refugee children on Tuesday - all gifted with the teddy bears.

"We have 19 children from seven families," Red Cross settlement team manager Jo Fasheun told Newshub. "Six of the families are from Eritrea and one family from Afghanistan."

The idea for the Teddy Bear Project was born out of tragedy for Christchurch teacher Santa Ditta.

"My father was actually injured in the mosque attacks and we were given teddy bears and a lot of other things by [the] Red Cross," she said. "I've still got those teddy bears and that made me feel all warm and fuzzy so I wanted to return that favour."

And there will be a whole lot more cuddly toys to go around. So far, Ditta's raised almost $3000 to purchase teddy bears for children arriving in Christchurch.

The Red Cross has welcomed the addition to their care packages for refugees.

"It really touched us because it really means that the children can have something just to hold on to," Fasheun said. "All children need something to hold on to and just go to bed with and talk to when they feel like they don't have someone else to talk to."