‘May you stay forever strong’ message from care home after Christchurch tragedy

There were emotional scenes at Zayed College for Girls in Mangere on Friday afternoon as Bupa Parkhaven Care Home visited the school, one week on from the Christchurch terror attack. 

The care home presented the students with a card full of heartfelt messages, flowers, and a song.

The school students, aged 11 to 13 years old, had been regularly visiting the care home for more than two years, giving them fruit, baking and their time.

The care home is well connected with what is going on in the news, hearing about the Christchurch attack during their daily newspaper reading times.

Bupa Parkhaven Care Home Acitvities Coordinator, Afioga Sadiq, said the news affected everyone at Bupa Parkhaven very deeply and when the school cancelled their regular visit this month due to the attack, the care home wanted to visit them instead.

“We were determined to organise a van to bring us here so we could visit our friends at the college and let them all know that they are in our thoughts at this sad time,” Ms Sadiq explained.

Visiting the Muslim school for the first time and wearing traditional headscarves as a sign of respect, the Parkhaven visitors were joined by a heavy NZ Police presence during afternoon prayer.

The group repeated a line during their prepared song of ‘May you stay forever strong’, a message that received a warm reception from the students.


Zayed College for Girls student, Zahra Issacs, became visibly upset when talking about what it meant to have the residents and Bupa people visit them.

“When I visit the care home, it is like visiting uncles and aunts. I thank them for coming to see us at this time as it is very emotional,” Miss Issacs said.

Before departing, there were hugs and tears between both groups and a promise to continue their regular visits.