Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust Inc, a non-profit organization, has a proud history of working with socially isolated senior citizens of Indian and South Asian origin living in the Auckland region.
Initially, the culturally appropriate services for older people of diverse cultural backgrounds were initiated by Mrs. Indu Bajaj Q.S.M and M.S.W, an experienced social worker, in January 1994 under the umbrella of Methodist Mission Northern. At the time she came in contact with several older migrants of Indian descent who seemed to be facing difficulties in adjusting into New Zealand society due to barriers such as:
- Cultural shock
- Generational gaps
- Language and communication barriers
- Loneliness and social isolation
- Dependence on family support
- Emotional stress
- Child minding pressures
- Lack of knowledge of health and welfare system
- Lack of community links
- Transport and mobility issues
- Elder abuse and neglect
She felt there was a great need to establish services in order to provide guidance and assistance to older people so they could have a good quality of life. As we all know, added barriers of different languages and cultural backgrounds can create feelings of exclusion and isolation which in turn can lead to depression and mental health problems.
In November 1998, the trust was legally established under the name of Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust Incorporated and became financially independent in January 2003. The trust has been registered with the Charities Commission (CC26135) and for goods and services tax.
- To reduce social isolation and loneliness
- To empower seniors to make their own decisions
- To establish and deliver programmes designed specifically to support and enhance the wellbeing of older people of Indian origin.
- Create opportunities for older people to participate in social, cultural, educational and physical activities that are designed for individual needs and capabilities
- To assist older people and their families accessing home based support services as and when the need arises
- To develop programmes in consultation with older people
- To assess and review needs of older people and where appropriate, refer to relevant health and community services
- Staff and volunteers need to have an understanding of cultural needs of older people and respond to their requirements accordingly. To provide interpreting, advocacy and counselling services
- Programmes to be delivered in a safe and accessible venue by qualified staff and volunteers
- onfidentiality of older people and their families to be protected in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993
- To protect and enhance the health, safety and welfare of older people, staff and volunteers
- To investigate elder abuse and neglect issues and provide services for their welfare and safety.
To make visible signs of hope, empower those whom society has neglected, celebrate change and diversity.
Statement of Purpose
To deliver culturally appropriate community based support services with emphasis on furthering the delivery of aged care services, health awareness and healthy life style education, assistance with settlement in the New Zealand society, networking and partnership with other agencies. We make sure that our seniors are respected and their integrity is safe guarded.
Respect, Integrity, Courage.