Community Scoop

Auckland Counsellor supports Christian refugees in Thailand

Press Release – Phil Walker

Auckland Counsellor supports Christian refugees in Thailand and appeals for further help from New Zealand churches.Auckland Counsellor supports Christian refugees in Thailand and appeals for further help from New Zealand churches.

Phil Walker is an Auckland based Counsellor in private practice who was asked to support a charity called HOPE Worldwide Pakistan to set up a Psycho Social program to support Christian refugees in Thailand. Phil was keen to branch out further to develop his company brand more by supporting charities and using his skills more widely. He developed a program based on a system he worked with during days as a support worker whereby refugees would be visited twice per week in their homes to work on different goals. Volunteers were taught around skills of empathy, good professional boundaries and greater details of post traumatic stress disorder which these people could likely experience.

Phil wrote a blog post with full details of the experience of being there along with some photos and some video footage of some experiences of the people.

Phil found during his time there though that the project was so much bigger than merely setting up the program to help. ‘I can’t believe what is happening to these people socially and politically. A support program is one thing but we are in desperate need of change on a greater political stage. I wonder how widely known this is amongst churches?.’

Thailand have not accepted the UN protocol regarding refugees meaning that these people become at risk of being detained and simply cannot integrate into a life in Thailand. Phil became very curious from a purely Christian support stance what more could be offered to help if churches actually knew about this. ‘Volunteers spoke to me about a sponsorship by the churches in Canada and how they have taken in some refugees even. It made me think about if NZ churches or churches wherever else if they knew about this situation could up their game more.’

The charity HOPE WORLDWIDE PAKISTAN has set up this program with just 2 volunteers right now. These families are in desperate need of support. The children of families are not able to go to school. Any kind of support is wonderful but if we can create some change whereas families can be adopted out this would be the ideal. I would love to think in New Zealand that our churches could do something to help this.

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