'Legends' - Red Cross honours refugees who served as essential workers during lockdown

Source: 1News

The New Zealand Red Cross has recognised the work of former refugees who worked in essential service roles during the Covid-19 lockdown.

"On World Refugee Day, we want to celebrate how these refugee-background Kiwis have helped the rest of New Zealand during some of our toughest times," New Zealand Red Cross' general manager for migration, Rachel O’Connor, said today.

"We are grateful they are part of our community."

Essential workers risked their health to ensure the rest of the country had access to supplies, health care, news, transport and other essential services.

Ms O'Connor said, "many of these jobs are ones that sometimes go unnoticed but are jobs that were vital for Aotearoa to get through lockdown".

In wanting the celebrate these "Covid-19 legends", the Read Cross launched a campaign to showcase the work of former refugees who are now a nurse, a truck driver, a supermarket assistant, a caregiver, a bus driver and a case manager.

"We didn’t know our jobs would be essential, so we were worried when lockdown was coming," former refugee and caregiver Lian Thuam said. "We are very proud we were still working."

Lin Thuam, who is a bus driver ans fellow former refugee, shared the sentiment.

"I am always thinking how I can give back to this country. This was a good opportunity to do this."