Since 1995, Farida Sultana has been at the forefront of addressing domestic violence against ethnic women in New Zealand. Being a survivor of domestic violence herself, her vision was to create a safe space for ethnic women seeking support and shelter outside an abusive relationship. In 1995, she founded the Shakti Asian Women’s Support Group Trust with 7 other ethnic immigrant women, in Auckland. Spurred by the needs of ethnic women and families within the Asian, African and Middle Eastern communities of New Zealand, the Support Group expanded nationally and was reconstituted as Shakti Community Council Inc.
The Group recognises the barriers that come with migration and the intergenerational bonds of cultural oppression and are set out to challenge the cultural acceptance of domestic violence within the ethnic communities; promote gender equity; and bring about social change. Shakti is committed to the cause of women’s empowerment and contributes effectively through its series of educational and life skills programmes.
To facilitate and ensure the good health and overall well-being of New Zealand’s migrant and refugee communities through culturally competent services within a culturally appropriate environment.
To facilitate a harmonious, multicultural New Zealand:
- where all immigrants would be fully integrated into the New Zealand society in such a manner that they are able to exercise their rights and responsibilities
- where all immigrants can live a life of dignity, free from fear and violence
- where all immigrants can be recognised as valuable contributors to the community and the economy
- Facilitating a ‘violence-free society’ with zero tolerance to violence and abuse against women and children
- Standing up and speaking out against all forms of discrimination, oppression and racism
- Sustainable community development through empowerment of women and young women
The New Zealand funders/ donors for our various projects include Child, Youth & Family (CYF), Ministry of Social Development, Department of Labour – NZIS, Department of Internal Affairs (Lottery/ COGS), LTNZ, Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council, Waitakere City Council, Christchurch City Council, Wellington City Council, The High Commission of India, The Trusts Charitable Foundation Inc., Bay Trust, ASB Community Trust, ANZ Bank, Lion Foundation, Zonta Club, and other private trusts.