Gandhi Nivas opens its third branch in Auckland

Papakura facility another milestone in reducing family harm

Venkat Raman

Organisations like ‘Gandhi Nivas’ are important contributors in reducing family violence and family harm and make our homes safer, Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa has said.

Inaugurating the third branch of Gandhi Nivas in Papakura, South Auckland on Friday, September 7, 2018, she said that her government supports such projects that work to bring about positive changes in perpetrators of family harm.

Expanding horizon

“I am happy that ‘Gandhi Nivas’ has been successful in being a good interventionist to help men perpetrating family harm. I understand that it was established (in December 2014) to be of service primarily to the members of the Indian community but has since grown to cater to all other communities including Maori and Pacifica. All of us must work together to ensure that our homes are free of violence,” Ms Salesa said.

Unveiling a plaque to mark the opening of ‘Gandhi Nivas Papakura,’ she dedicated the branch to the memory of Vivek Varma, who was a strong supporter of the Project since its inception and a pillar of strength to his wife Sucharita Varma to set up ‘Sahaayta Counselling and Social Support’ on October 15, 2013.

Mr Verma passed away suddenly on July 3, 2018 in Auckland.

About Sahaayta

Indian Newslink has been working with Ms Varma since 2012 when she joined the South Auckland Family Violence Prevention Network, a voluntary service based in Papatoetoe.

The growing incidence of family harm among South Asian communities and a lack of facilities to provide victims and perpetrators appropriate guidance and service, encouraged her to establish ‘Sahaayta Counselling and Support Service.’

A private initiative, formed with finances raised through a loan by the Varmas, Sahaayta provides general counselling through its own Counsellors who are proficient in eleven languages including English, Hindi, Urdu, Fiji-Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Tulu, Arabic and Dutch.

About Gandhi Nivas 

Gandhi Nivas is a partnership between Serenity Foundation, Counties Manukau Police and Sahaayta Counselling and Social Support. The first home was established in Otahuhu in December 2014.

ACC Funding

ACC provided a funding grant of $1.32 million in December 2016 to enable Gandhi Nivas to provide a full wrap-around service around the perpetrator, victim and family.

ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced at the opening of the second branch of Gandhi Nivas in Te Atatu Peninsula, West Auckland on Friday, August 16, 2018 that ACC would invest a further $1.7 million over three years to support the expansion of Gandhi Nivas.

Major Social Problem

Family Violence is a major social problem globally, disempowering and paralysing women physically, psychologically, sexually and economically.

One in three women face some form of violence in their homes; every four minutes, Police are called to a Family Violence incident and Police believe that 12% of women actually make the call.

Gandhi Nivas is a round-the-clock, round-the-year facility and is governed by a board.

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