Friday, 15 March, was, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, one of New Zealand’s darkest days. It was the day that innocent children, men, women, fathers, grandfathers—people—lost their lives because of who they worship. This act of sheer hate and terror has shaken us to our core. This is not us, we say. They should have been safe, we say. But here we are.
The outpouring of grief and support for our Muslim community has been swift and generous. There have been vigils, flowers, donations and acts of solidarity that perhaps outweigh anything we’ve seen before in Aotearoa. Support from overseas has been humbling—the Sydney Opera House with its silver fern, the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building shrouded in darkness, Amsterdam’s central railway station lit with the New Zealand flag and vigils in mosques all around the world. They have all denounced this terror attack.
Our nation is in mourning but grief is not linear. There are feelings of anger, anxiety, overwhelming sadness that play on repeat. And, there’s the ultimate question: how could this have happened on our shores?
The founding premise of Urban List is to help you live your best life and yes, we’ve felt the moral dilemma of providing first-world recommendations when we are cloaked in sadness and anxiety. And while we have been forced to confront a horrific underbelly that exists in our country, there is much we can do, give and say to hold onto hope, to do better and to support the Muslim community who have been devastated by this atrocity.
And so, we have compiled a list of ways that you can make a difference. If you know of anything we haven’t included here, please feel free to email [email protected]
Attend A Vigil
There have been many vigils for support of our Muslim community already held, but there are more to come.
Migrants Against Racism and Xenophobia is holding a vigil at the Auckland Domain on Friday, 22 March from 6 - 8pm.
Another vigil will be held at Aotea Square at 2pm on Sunday, 23 March. Kia Kaha Aotearoa: Standing Against Racism which aims to have the largest anti-racism protest we have seen since the Spring Boks tour.
St Mattew’s in the City is giving people the opportunity to grieve from 5-8pm on Monday, 18 March.
In Wellington, Amnesty at Vic is hosting a vigil at Civic Square from 7 - 8.30pm to show love and solidarity.
Nelson is hosting a Race Unity Day on Sunday, 24 March from 11am - 4pm at Victory Square to embrace and celebrate cultural diversity.
Make A Donation
If you have the opportunity to donate some funds, here are some options.
The New Zealand Counclil of Victim Support Groups has set up a Givealittle page.
The New Zealand Islamic Information Centre has set up a Launch Good page to help with the immediate, short-term needs of grieving families.
Keep an eye on the Christchurch Mosque Support—Halal Food Drop for upcoming opportunities.
Whether now or in the future, volunteering your time is an option.
Contact Victim Support about becoming a volunteer.
Become a refugee support volunteer through the New Zealand Red Cross.
Join the Collaborate For Christchurch group to see how you can help.
Check On Friends, Family And Strangers
Everyone has been impacted by this tragedy—whether it’s a friend, family member or even a stranger, reach out and check they’re ok.
The Ministry of Health offers advice for coping after a traumatic event here.
If you or anyone you know needs support, helplines are available.
Text or call 1737
Call victim support on 0800 842 846
Image Credit: Ruby Jones, Getty