10 Ways To Help Asylum Seekers TODAY
You’ve probably picked up the paper or clicked on the news today and seen the terrible tragedy that has unfolded involving over 200 asylum seekers off the coast of Java. Updates are trickling through and it’s almost too much to bear, really. This is not the only such tragedy, sadly, and right here in Australia there are refugees in crisis every single day. Here are some ways to help them.
1. Donate Some Basics: Donate food, toiletries, mobile phones with chargers, phonecards, bedding, supermarket vouchers, kitchenware or nappies. These kind of essentials are always needed, so maybe make an ongoing commitment to do something each month, if you possibly can? More here.
2. Hire A Caterer: Within Victoria, you can hire Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Catering. Ex Soulmama head chef Cathy Maguire oversees the catering arm of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. They provide sustainable, ethical, delicious food and opportunities for people to train in the food service industry and gain hands on experience. Get menu planning here.
3. Give At Christmas: The Asylum Seeker’s Centre of New South Wales have launched a special Christmas appeal to support the most vulnerable asylum seekers with the very basics like emergency housing and medical assistance. It’s heartbreaking to think that people are going without the very basics, isn’t it? Donate here.
4. Legal or Admin Volunteering: The Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS) in Queensland is always looking for administrative and legal volunteers. You can sign up here and help ensure that people with no access to the usual legal channels have the right advice and representation.
5. Become an English Language tutor. Asylum Seekers are not eligible for Australia’s free English Language teaching program. The ASRC can provide you with free training, and then you can become a home tutor and teach someone nice basic English. More here.
6. Send A Gift Card: If you prefer to help in an online way, you can buy a gift card here and have it delivered to : The Asylum Seeker’s Centre of News South Wales, 38 Nobbs Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 or The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, 12 Batman Street, West Melbourne, 3003. You could also re-gift a card that you might receive for Christmas, couldn’t you?
7. Grab a Community Fundraiser Kit and stage your own benefit: Maybe it’s a big garage sale on your street, or a gig or a movie night or a fun run. You can do it! Gather up your friends and DO SOMETHING! I am going to do this next year and I am very excited. Find out more here.
8. Welcome Refugees: Encourage your community centre or church to become a Refugee Welcome Zone. Find out how to welcome refugees into your community here.
10. Homework Help : St Vincent De Paul Society Assisting Refugee Kids (SPARK) provides support for refugee kids and their families and a homework club throughout Central Western Sydney. They are seeking volunteers to help kids with their after school study and English skills. In Victoria you can contact the Fitzroy Learning Network and get involved in the Computer Club House after school program (and lots of other refugee support programs too!)
Here’s a huge list of organizations who are members of The Refugee Council of Australia. And another list of refugee support services seeking volunteers. Have a look and see what people are doing in your local area. Find a way to help. Go on.
What will you do to help? Do you know other ways to help? Let us know, won’t you?