© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Supporting Muslim community a 'long-term effort'

Leighton Heikell
Isobel Prasad

A charity set up to support the Muslim community after the March 15 terror attacks is in for the "long-haul".

NZ Gifts of Love and Strength founder, Vicki-Anne Parker, and hundreds of volunteers are working with Muslim women to provide their community with care packages and meals. 

Parker set up the group following the attack and didn't expect the huge response to her plea for help.

About 150 meals are cooked each day at a commercial kitchen at wholesale food supplier, Trents.

Parker says although the response since the attacks has been great, this is a long-term issue. 

“One thing we need to remember is a lot of people think this is short term, this is ongoing. So what we are trying to do is to engage the community to help in this way."

18-year-old Mulki Abdiwahab is one of the Muslim women transporting meals to families and patients in hospital. Abdiwahab, whose father was injured in the attacks, says standing together in solidarity with a community experiencing similar emotions is special. 

"The fact we can pitch in and help out, even if it's just delivering food or packaging the meals - I can't explain the feeling that we get from that," she says.

Vicki Anne and Mulki2
Mulki Abdiwahab and Vicki-Anne Parker Leighton Heikell