We’re halfway through Refugee Week (June 17th-23rd) and we’d like to thank everyone who’s shown support for women, men and children seeking asylum.
Refugee Week is a time to celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.
If you still wish to show your support there are a few ways you can help JRS continue to serve some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
Fatima*, a single mother who relies on Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) not only for her livelihood, but for that of her two little girls is now one of around 12,000 people seeking asylum and living legally in Australia who could be left hungry, homeless, and unsafe because of the government’s decision to cut this vital lifeline.
After escaping war to seek safety in Australia, Fatima, found herself having to escape again, this time from her husband who had become violent. When her marriage ended, so did any financial support for her and her young children. She searched fruitlessly for work, and she is still looking. She survives on SRSS to pay her rent, food, school costs, and other day-to-day living expenses.
Whether you’re a master chef or a home cook we’re asking you to organise a dinner party this Refugee Week (June 17th-23rd) and feed not only your guests, but raise funds for people seeking asylum in need.
It’s a great way to gather a group of friends and family and share in the cooking of a meal using a special recipe from a person seeking asylum to raise funds for the needs of women, men and children seeking asylum and JRS’ work to support them.
For this very special Refugee Week action, we’ve chosen to share with you a community centre favourite, Adas Polo, a delicious dish from Iran. Several gifted cooks in the JRS family have contributed to the instruction, demonstration, translation and testing of this recipe you can use it at your very own Cook 2 Connect dinner party. We know everyone will be asking for more!
Advocate for people seeking asylum
Another way to show your support this Refugee Week is to advocate for the rights of people seeking asylum by:
- Put a banner or flyer supporting people seeking asylum’s right to have a ‘roof over their heads.’
- Take a photo or video supporting people seeking asylum’s right to have a ‘roof over their heads.’ Post it to social media with the hashtag #RoofOverMyHead
- Write a letter, email, or note to your Member of Parliament. A list of MPs by area is available here.
- Donate to keep people seeking asylum affected by these cuts safe, housed, and fed.
- Taking a group of friends and meet your local MP. This is one of the most powerful ways of influencing policy. See Caritas’ guide.
- Watch and share this video of our latest press conference in Canberra
People seeking asylum are in dire need
Drastic reductions to government support began last year when some individuals seeking asylum were told they were being cut off from income support and other essential services. Since then even more people have been affected. The government has outlined people seeking asylum and receiving Status Resolution Support Services Payments (SRSS) support payments will be reassessed and those found to be ‘work ready’ will be required to immediately find work in order to survive.
What the government is forgetting when making these decisions is that people seeking asylum want to work and meaningfully contribute to society, but finding work is hard at the best of times. By slashing support, and giving people only 7 days to find a job, the government is manufacturing situations of systemic poverty, destitution, and homelessness. The panic and fear being felt among the people at risk of having this vital lifeline cut off is plunging them into further despair and hopelessness.