Outreach support programs have existed in our parish for more than thirty years. During this time the parish has continued to support the needs of many individuals and families, by providing volunteers and resources to enhance the wellbeing of asylum seekers.
The Covid-19 pandemic is having an impact on everyone around the globe. Refugees and people seeking asylum are facing vulnerabilities and economic difficulties as they have lost their part-time and casual work, and are not entitled to the financial benefits under the Federal Government’s stimulus package.
They cannot be left behind in this time of difficulty.
At the same time, Refugee Week – 14-20 June – was moved online due to Covid-19 and went by largely unnoticed due to the fracturing society in the United States and beyond.
Our parish has had a long history with the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP), supporting them with the monthly collection of non perishable foods and toiletries. However, as we comply with Government physical distancing regulations, the parishes are currently unable to collect and deliver to BASP. Like many other support agencies, BASP continues to experience greater demands on their resources in order to provide the general emergency funding to assist with the payment of rent, utilities and provision of food.
As we all are living differently in the new normal, there are still many options available to support the refugees and asylum seekers. Donations to BASP are not always about money, they may include assistance with housing options, employment opportunities (full-time, part-time, casual), gift vouchers, travel and phone cards, groceries and much more.
To find out more about the works of BASP and to donate visit the BASP website.
Moreover, you may like to support the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), an organisation that supports asylum seekers by providing aid, justice and empowerment programs to those living in the community seeking refugee protection. One of the many projects of the ASRC is Catering which is an award winning social enterprise serving global foods. You can support the ASRC Catering Project by purchasing heat-at-home meals home-delivered, you are not only enjoying the delicious meals but you are also providing a nutritious care meal to a person seeking asylum in need of support, while also keeping people seeking asylum in employment.
To learn more about the works of the ASRC and how you may help visit the ASRC website.
Let us remember those in need in this difficult time by putting into practice of what St. Paul calls us to do in the letter of Galatians: “carry each other’s burden, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2).