Australian Volunteers to help Syrian refugees settle

2015-09-21 10:16:01 | Al Muslim News
Australian Volunteers to help Syrian refugees settle
People in Melbourne march in solidarity with refugees held in offshore detention.


South Australians are being called upon to volunteer their time to help Syrian refugees when they arrive in the Australia.

Red Cross and Volunteering SA&NT are coordinating a registration and orientation process for volunteers, similar to one used throughout the Sampson Flat bushfire recovery effort, ABC News reported.

The Federal Government has agreed to accept 12,000 Syrian refugees in Australia, with the first to arrive within months.

Dr Assem Alwani from the Australians for Syria group told the refugees would welcome any support to help them settle in SA.

"They are coming from a war-torn country, they have been under four years now an unimaginable war situation," Dr Alwani said.

"They've lost their houses, they've lost their jobs, many of them have lost family members."
Any volunteers with Middle Eastern language skills would be particularly helpful.

"The biggest challenge for them will be to come into a new country where they have very little understanding of the English language," Dr Alwani said.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Zoe Bettison said offers of accommodation would also be welcome, but was not the priority at this stage.

"That's obviously where we'll look to first. If the numbers are significantly higher there are many different ways we might support them one of the ways is host families, they might agree to host a family."

Ms Bettison said a State Government suggestion to the Commonwealth to re-open the Inverbrackie Detention Centre had not progressed.

Volunteering SA&NT chief executive Evelyn O'Loughlin said a similar call for help after the Sampson Flat Bushfire attracted 1,400 volunteers.

Dr Alwani said he was glad the Federal Government had agreed to accept refugees, but believed the offer could have been more generous.

"Twelve-thousand is not as big number as anyone would hope if you look at how many Germany took and how many France and others and even Britain," he said.

"Many concerns from the community in various states were talking about this very restrictive definition of refugees.

"They talk about only those from persecuted minorities."



Tags: #Australia #

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