Māori Samaritan helping needy in Middle East

By Mānia Clarke

Owen Pomana (Ngāti Kahungunu) is on a mission travelling through the Middle East to help Syrian refugees. He's renowned for providing assistance to Auckland’s homeless and the needy.

Being in the heart of the Shi'a Islamist militant group Hezbollah in South Lebanon doesn't deter Owen Pomana from helping the needy

“I'm finding people who are also ministering to people in hard places, like trying to find solutions to house the poor and clothe the needy.” 

For the last week, he’s has been helping local pastor Mohammad Yamout, to care for Syrian refugees. 

“We gave out 150 gifts with tracks in them so chocolates and toys.  We visited four Syrian refugee camps around Lebanon, which Mohammad services, just to give them some love, he's their only point of contact really.  The kids just screamed you know it's just amazing.” 

Owen is a familiar face on the streets of Auckland, helping the city’s homeless.  Now he's turned his attention to helping the needy in the war-torn region of the Middle East.

“If you have a look on the US warning list it's probably a place that says don't travel to.  However, it's different story whilst you're here because you're emanating so much love and compassion that you just look past all that.  I wanted to be a part of seeing a culture of generosity and love in and through people.”

For the next four days, Pomana will continue his Samaritan work amongst a Syrian camp of 180,000 in Jordan.