Please join us to mark the closing of Lema Shamamba’s exhibition with song, dance and storytelling by members of Women of Hope.

W.H.O. - Women of Hope: Helping Ourselves is a group of refugee women drawn together by Lema, supported by the Ranui Action Project.

The group will present a series of performances that speak to their past experiences both in their home countries and now living in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Light refreshments will be served.

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Lema Shamamba was born and raised in Bweremana, a district of Masisi in the eastern territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are more than 200 Congolese ethnic groups in the DRC and her family is Hunde, the indigenous people of Masisi district. In her local community in West Auckland, she is known affectionately as ‘Mama Lema’ and has worked closely with the Ranui Action Project to reduce the isolation that refugee migrant families often experience.

In 2014, Shamamba established the group Women of Hope that connects migrant women by coordinating activities such as crafting, growing indigenous foods in the community gardens, playgroups for Swahili-speaking children as well as driver license training. More recently, Shamamba was recognised for her work as a community leader in Women Kind: New Zealand Women Making a Difference, an extensive publication that celebrates the success of New Zealand women and includes former Prime Minister Helen Clark ONZ SSI PC as well as artist Lisa Reihana MNZM.