“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
There are many different kinds of actions that you can take to help asylum seekers and refugees.
Support Jesuit Refugee Service
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia accompanies, serves and advocates for refugees and people seeking asylum and other forcibly displaced people in our own country.
With few staff and with funding always being tight, JRS always welcomes volunteers and you can also help through fundraising.
Given its mission, you may see an opportunity to provide pro bono support such as legal support.
Over the Christmas season, JRS ran Cards2Connect, a program based on cards with photos of asylum seekers.
A Nangami member, Therese Sheridan, has been in contact with a former refugee from Afghanistan who provides a variety of services to former refugees living in the Parramatta area. The Parramatta-based office of JRS is looking for volunteers; for more information, please contact Therese at: email@example.com.
Work with other refugee support organizations
Another organisation you may want to work with is the House of Welcome in Granville, run by St Francis Social Services.
The University of Sydney runs a Refugee Language Program which helps refugees learn English and build social networks in the Australian community. You can volunteer to join their team.
Shift attitudes and raise awareness
Our recent Table Talk conversation was one attempt to do this. If you have not already joined the Nangami group, please contact us to join.
As an individual, you can change the narrative, addressing schools, community groups and acting as an ambassador.
JRS and the Refugee Council of Australia run the school program Refugee Voices which focuses on schools and shares the personal journey of someone who has come to Australia as a refugee.
Offer welcome and friendship
Refugees Welcome Australia connects people who have a spare room in their house to refugees who need accommodation.
Share a meal with newcomers to Australia through the Welcome Dinner Project.
The News page of this site lists various campaigns that are being run, such as that to remove children from detention in Nauru.
Sign up to help sponsorship
The Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative offers people the opportunity to select from a number of ways in which they could join in helping the Australian Government to resettle refugees here.
Amnesty International currently has a petition to the Federal Government to ask for the community sponsorship program to be improved and expanded. You can sign the petition here.
Join the Archdiocesan Social Justice Coordination Team
The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has formed a Coordination Team to help guide, connect, and grow social justice work across the Archdiocese.
Contact Ruth Moraes from the Catholic Archdiocese Justice and Peace Office:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 9307 4561
Perhaps you can form a cricket team of asylum seekers to build for the future?
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that a French team (c’est vrai, une équipe de cricket française ) which includes refugees and asylum seekers, has recently won an international cricket championship.