News from RAR Groups

RAR GROUPS SUCCESS IN RAISING FUNDS FOR REFUGEES TO GO TO CANADA

Two RAR groups have been active in fund-raising to enable refugees from Papua New Guinea and Nauru to take up private sponsorship in Canada.  Both these groups raised these funds in just a few weeks.  This indicates that many people see this as a positive step to help get the refugees out of their imprisonment in off-shore detention and onto a new life.

RAR Group: Airey’s Inlet RAR (VIC)

Caption: Free a Refugee Campaign Committee members Jules Rolfe (L) and Kathryn Feather with the cheque to the Australian Refugee Council of Australia. (Image sourced – Airey’s Inlet RAR VIC.)

Small town, big response

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Aireys Inlet Rural Australians for Refugees (AIRAR) raised $18,500 in just three weeks to fund the freedom of a refugee detained on Nauru, through resettlement in Canada.

AIRAR set about this challenge by first establishing a Golden Pledge program where people pledged $500 to the campaign, and then opened it up to $50+ pledges.

Under the Canadian Government’s private sponsorship scheme, an application through the Refugee Council of Australia can only proceed once the money has been paid. The funds are then used to support the refugee’s living costs for the first year after arriving in Canada. Volunteer teams across Canada are assisting all new arrivals.

Blown away by the community’s generosity, there was clearly a readiness to be involved in such a positive campaign – to help give a refugee a new start, a new hope and perhaps an increased faith in humanity after such appalling times.

In the end, over $23,000 was raised, with the additional funds being donated to the RCOA to be put towards another refugee seeking a new life in Canada.

 

AIRAR have prepared an information kit. Download it here  

For more information, contact Jules Rolfe

Email: 

Mobile: 0400 507 668

 

RAR Group: Armidale RAR

In March, Armidale RAR, in association with Armidale Sanctuary Humanitarian Settlement, launched the Nauru to Canada Appeal. This was to raise funds to enable a Rohingya refugee on Nauru to reunite with his family and settle in Canada through that country’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program.

We worked closely with Ads-up Canada, who selected the refugee and determined how much we would need to raise: $52,000. Amazingly, we reached this goal in less than 2 weeks, and eventually raised a total of $53,654. The latest is that the family’s sponsorship group in Canada has been approved and their application is officially in process.

 

Rohingya refugee family to be reunited in Canada after Armidale Nauru to Canada raises funds

Sanctuary’s Jeff Siegel said funds needed to reunite a family had been raised in less than a fortnight.

 

Funds raised by Armidale’s Nauru to Canada Appeal will sponsor a new life for a Rohingya refugee, currently stranded on Nauru, when he is reunited with his wife and children to live in Canada. Gratitude and excitement were clear in a What’s Ap message sent by the man to April Tafe, an Australian-based representative of the Canadian organisation Ads-Up, and an organiser of the appeal.

 

“Hi April, I have so much emotion about what is happening and it is difficult to believe it. I haven’t gotten any good news in seven years until now. It is happening because of all your hard work and organising. I don’t know how to thank you,” he said.

 

“It is hard to imagine that there are such amazing people in this world like you and the people of Armidale to help me. I have tears in my eyes thinking about this and everyone who has helped me without knowing me. I owe you and all those people and I will never forget the kindness. In my faith, we say if you help to unite a family it is worth more than 100 mosques or churches.”

 

Sanctuary’s Jeff Siegel said A$52,000 was needed to have the family-sponsored under Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. Canada’s program has provided a space for permanent residents, members of organisations, associations and groups to engage in the resettlement of refugees since the 1970’s.

 

“In a little less than two weeks we’ve raised $53,404,” Jeff said. “It’s amazing, the community response has just been fantastic. The vast majority of that money has come from the Armidale community. People are really concerned about this particular man who has been in Nauru for more than six years, and people are also concerned about the government policy that’s allowed this man to be stuck in that place for so long.”

 

Jeff said it would take a few months for the application to go through the system, and it was still necessary for the man’s identity to be kept secret.

(Article sourced from The Armidale Express)

 

For more information contact:

Jeff Siegel

Email:

Mobile: 0434 146 856

 

We would love to hear from you if your RAR group is involved in fund-raising for refugees from PNG and Nauru to go to Canada.  Email and tell us your story.

 

More details:

Refugee Council of Australia is working with Canada Caring Society and MOSAIC to raise funds.

Ads-Up is another group of Australians in US, Canada and Australia fund-raising and working directly with volunteers in the US and Canada.

An article from the UNSW on A Brutal Welcome: Riots and a pandemic greet Manus and Nauru refugees landing in the United States

 

We also want to get community sponsorship going to Australia.  Is your group interested in this?  If so, let us know at

Find out more at http://www.ausrefugeesponsorship.com.au/


June 2020 National Refugee Week

Ballarat RAR has created a short video for refugee week, to highlight the various actions we have taken in the last 18months – Rallies, book launches and fundraisers in support of refugees and asylum seekers in Ballarat and nationally.

 


June 2020 – Ballina Region 4 Refugees

Ballina Region for Refugees committee members Stanley Yeo and Lisa Dillon (rear) with Patrick Gillett (front). Photo supplied by the Echo.

Last month Ballina R4R was delighted to receive a donation of $10,000 out of the blue from Vivienne Court Trading Pty Ltd [VivCourt] an Australian financial trading firm. This company aims to ‘generate wealth with a social conscience’ and has charities as a stakeholder, rather than shareholders. So each year they donate their profits to charities. The employees get to choose these. The Alston-based representative of the company, Patrick Gillet, chose BR4R after getting to know an Afghan refugee running a coffee shop in Brisbane

Ballina R4R said the money couldn’t have come at a better time. ‘With all fund-raising activities halted by the Coronavirus shutdown, BR4R was gradually depleting its financial reserves in an effort to continue supporting refugees and asylum seekers both in Australia and offshore,’ Vice-President, Stanley Yeo said.

Ballina Region for Refugees will donate $2,000 of the money to Operation#NotForgotten, a scheme to resettle refugees in Canada. Funds will also be allocated to refugee legal support, to medical support and to other frontline services.

What a great story! Let’s hope more companies take on this kind of approach to giving.
Thanks to the Echonet Daily for sharing this story.
https://www.echo.net.au/2020/05/ballina-refugee-group-gets-10000-donation/