The WISE Collective project is achieving transformative change in women’s lives by focusing on the five‘E’s: Empowerment + Education + Employment + Enterprise + Equality.


The WISE Project supports refugee background women to develop the necessary knowledge, skills, confidence and resources to start-up or contribute to activities for generating income for their families and is run under a unique partnership between the Auckland Resettled Community Coalition and the ARMS Trust. The WISE Collective Project has been active for five years, supporting former refugee women to utilize their skills and interests to generate income for their families. More than 800 women have engaged with the WISE Collective Project since its inception, and come from 18 different countries.


WISE offers a safe and secure space for women in a cross cultural environment to connect, learn, develop new skills and knowledge, learn English and explore social enterprising opportunities. Currently, WISE women meet twice a week in two different locations: Henderson and Mt Roskill.


WISE Catering services, offers a variety of authentic dishes from around the world including Middle Eastern, South East Asian, South Asian and African favourites. All our food is freshly prepared in response to your order. The team is available for meetings, birthdays, parties, festivals, and other functions.

WISE offers a diverse range of learning opportunities (driving, health and wellbeing etc), language support, and celebrates diversity (Eid, Refugee Day, Diwali etc). We run a mentoring programme as well as provide ongoing support (trainings) and referral pathways for the wome

The WISE Collective is changing women’s lives...
“I was on my own with three children, no support, a trained teacher, but jobless. For years I sat in a dark room in my house with curtains closed. Now I am a WISE food stall holder and caterer and my curtains are no longer drawn.”
- WISE Collective woman


Weekly WISE Hubs have been established at the following places across Auckland linking women to support, information, wellbeing, and training and social enterprising opportunities.

Monday – Massey Community Hub, Massey, West Auckland

Wednesday – De Paul House, North Cote, North Shore, Auckland (*Food Control Planning Certificate only)

Thursday – Panmure Community Centre, East Auckland

Thursday – PACT Building, Papatoetoe, South Auckland

Friday – Mt Roskill Wesley community centre, Auckland Central

Many of the WISE women have attended a range of training’s, learning opportunities and forums over the past year, including: Food Handling Courses, Budgeting and Food Presentation , First Aid, Practical Driving Tips , ESOL and English Language Training , Gardens4Health , Composting , Safety in the Community, Crocheting/knitting , Zumba and boxing sessions. WISE Crafters – WISE women are becoming well-known for crocheting beautiful Heritage Blankets, handbags and other craft items. The hubs are a place for the women to connect, make friends, and learn and upskill. Click here for more information on the hubs.


The WISE women run regular ethnic food stalls at markets and events across Auckland. A Food Safety Certificate is required by all food stall holders. Some WISE women are now operating as more independent stall holders. WISE food stalls are in hot demand for festivals and other start-up markets around the city. The WISE Collective operates a catering service for events and meetings. To connect with the catering team, email

For more information on the catering service including sample menus, click here

The WISE Collective Project is proving extremely successful in supporting refugee background women to become more informed, more socially empowered and more enterprising, through the facilitation, continual support and training’s put in place by the WISE Project Workers. While not all women will enter the workforce, most of them are achieving some economic benefit for their families from their WISE Collective efforts.


Shilear Basharati

Project Worker

E: Ph: 0212382801


Sasikala Niyamathullah

Project Coordinator

E: Ph: 02102996912