After the devastating earthquake of 2010-2011, the Riccarton Community Centre of Christchurch was severely damaged. It was temporarily closed until the June 2013 in which it was partially re-open due to the unsafe state the was in.
However just recently, due to the circumstances the council had no choice but to take it down. On the positive note, before going ahead with the reconstruction of this communal hall, the council wanted to know what services and facilities the people of Christchurch (but more specifically the Riccarton residents) hoped to expect in this brand new centre.
On Saturday the 22nd of August, three Nawawi Center team members willingly put their hand up to uptake in the surveying of local residents. Huda, Nihaad and I (Abu Bakr) set out to represent the our organization. We had also collaborated with some of our friends who worked over at the Multicultural Community Development Center.
At 8am, Huda had arrived at Riccarton Bush to help set up our stool with Ester Vallero from MCVD. By 9am the event was underway. There were different stools all with their own unique styles. The smell of fresh Red Camelias flowers aromatized the cooling Christchurch breeze. As the happy public strolled around they could smell the different arrays of chocolates, organic fruits and fresh vegetables.
When Nihaad and I arrived at 10am, we began asking people questions about what they envision in the new community centre. There were a mix of people all over the market, from young to old, children to adults, and we spoke with them, we grew to realize the friendly attitude they had. In addition to asking questions about the future Riccarton community hall, everyone who was surveyed got an opportunity to win a $50 Westfield voucher.
The 3 of us really enjoyed our time, we got to see the diversity of one community in Christchurch and got to develop our relationship with the MCVD. We will continue to look for opportunities like these and participate in them.