Who are we?
Our team provides culturally appropriate, multilingual, faith-based support for individuals and families in the Muslim community of Ōtautahi (Christchurch). We offer a range of services to all ages and continue to evolve to meet the needs of our community.
We provide a confidential and non-judgmental service focused on the individual needs of each person seeking support. Our team empowers individuals and families in their daily lives, helps advocate for their needs, and are able to connect them with other services where needed.
Who do we support?
We provide support to the Muslim community in the Canterbury area, in their home and/or out in the community. We understand that each situation is unique, so we tailor our support to suit you.
As a faith-based service, we recognise that people are in different places on their spiritual journey. We want to emphasise that there are no religious or spiritual expectations to be able to receive support from us or participate in any of our events or activities.
Purapura Whetu Trust
Muslim Wellbeing Ōtautahi is provided by Purapura Whetu Trust.
Established in 2002, Purapura Whetu Trust is a kaupapa Māori health, wellbeing, and social service provider in Waitaha, Aotearoa (Canterbury, New Zealand). Purapura Whetu supports whānau to get well, stay well, live well, and reach for the stars and beyond.
Muslim Wellbeing Ōtautahi was initially formed as part of the response to the terrorist attacks on Christchurch mosques that took place on March 15th 2019. The attacks took the lives of 51 individuals and left many with significant physical and mental injuries.
Kāhui Tū Kaha, Ngati Whatua
Recognising the need for culturally and spiritually appropriate support for the diverse Muslim community, a team of Muslim Wellbeing practitioners from Auckland travelled to Christchurch on a regular basis for the first few months following the attacks. This established Muslim Wellbeing Service was part of Kāhui Tū Kaha, a Ngati Whatua (confederation of four Māori tribes) organisation that provides not-for-profit housing and mental health support in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland).
Muslim Wellbeing Ōtautahi
In 2019, Purapura Whetu Trust was approached and agreed to set up a Muslim Wellbeing team to support those affected by the terror attacks. Social and community support workers were handpicked from, and by, the local Muslim community.
Initially, the scope of the service was to provide support for those directly impacted by the attacks, but then widened to support the entire Muslim Community in Ōtautahi. This was in recognition of the widespread impact of the attacks, and to ensure that those who may not be directly impacted by the events of March 15th were not missing out on receiving support.
We are a service that respects where you are at; has an open-minded perspective about what you are going through; connects in a compassionate manner that is based on trust, and establishes faith in oneself and Allah.
To support an individual’s healing journey in a holistic manner.
To enhance confidence and independence while building resilience.
To create deep-rooted connections with faith, community, and culture.
Holistic Whānau Centered Approach
Understanding an Islamic view of health covers all aspects of the mind, body, and soul, we support individuals with their journey in a holistic manner.
We know that our health and wellbeing are influenced by many interweaving factors - physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, financial, social, whānau (family), friends, and community. We understand that when our spiritual wellbeing is not nurtured alongside other aspects of our health, it can cause an imbalance and affect our overall functioning. Often our spirituality can act as a protective factor, helping us cope with the challenges of life.
One of the models that we integrate into the work we do is the Te Whare Tapa Whā model of Māori health, which is complementary to an Islamic view of health.
Te Whare Tapa Whā describes health and wellbeing as a whare (house) with four walls, understanding that all aspects of our whare have to be in balance for us to thrive. These walls are our Taha Tinana (physical wellbeing), Taha Hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing), Taha Wairua (spiritual wellbeing), and Taha Whānau (family wellbeing), and that our connection to whenua (land) is the foundation of our wellbeing.
We also use a whānau (family) centered approach which focuses healing and support on the whānau as a whole. That means we address individual needs in the context of what is happening for the whānau.
Life Stage Approach
We also promote a life stage approach in our community programmes and events. That is, we recognise there are unique challenges at different stages in life that have significant relevance to our wellbeing.
Through this targeted approach, we aim to minimise risk factors present at different stages of life and enhance protective factors through community connection and support.
We understand these life stages from a spiritual and collectivist cultural lens, whilst also recognising the influence of individual upbringings, family, culture, gender, and social circumstances. We aim to honour this as best we can, whilst leaning on our shared spiritual connection.