Become a Champion of Welcome and support refugee entrants to rebuild their lives in the Illawarra.
How it Works.
Raise funds for SCARF as an individual, group or business through a method of your choice. Have positive conversations highlighting the experiences and contributions of refugee entrants along the way.
Be a Champion for an inclusive community where refugee entrants feel welcomed and are able to overcome barriers and build a secure, vibrant life in their new home.
Why Take Part?
Our community has proudly welcomed humanitarian refugees from around the world for many years. Once here in the Illawarra, refugee entrants are finally safe after facing danger and uncertainty. But settlement in Wollongong is far from a guaranteed ‘happily ever after.’ In fact, it presents a whole new set of challenges.
The practical challenges of rebuilding are hard to imagine
While refugee entrants bring diverse skills, knowledge and a determination to rebuild with them, they face overlapping barriers and challenges that can make navigating their new life extremely difficult.
Some of these challenges can include:
- Learning English: Learning a new language is an enormous challenge that can take years to master. But life doesn’t stop in the meantime. Refugee entrants are tasked with navigating everyday life – from grocery shopping, understanding bills to liaising with schools – with varying levels of English language ability.
- Finding secure, appropriate employment: Refugee entrants come from diverse professional backgrounds – some are highly qualified and/or experienced – and are determined to contribute. But they face numerous barriers out of their control that mean that they’re disadvantaged when it comes to securing a job. For example:
- English language competence;
- Inability to get overseas qualifications recognised;
- Lack of community and professional networks;
More challenges include:
- Finding a suitable, affordable place to live
- Navigating bureaucratic systems
- Understanding Australian Education systems and achieving potential;
- Learning to drive
Refugee entrants can feel isolated and like they don’t belong
To have a social network and to feel a sense of belonging are fundamental human needs.
But for refugee entrants, establishing new friendships and feeling a part of a community can be significant challenges.
Refugee entrants have left family, friends and communities behind, and must re-build their social networks from scratch.
This is a difficult and lonely task when language, culture and customs are unfamiliar, and where discrimination can occur.
To make things even harder, refugee entrants may be dealing with the emotional aftermath of trauma and loss. Feeling alone during these times can compound emotional distress.
SCARF offers welcome, friendship and the practical tools to start again
SCARF helps refugee entrants to build a sense of belonging and navigate the practical and personal challenges of starting a new life in Australia.
By creating connections and generating opportunities, SCARF helps individuals and families to establish a sense of belonging, experience social and economic inclusion and access the tools for self-empowerment and independence.
Our seven core programs – from L2P Driving, Befriending and Education – provide responsive, targeted settlement support to our community and are delivered by a dedicated cohort of more than 300 local volunteers.
We are more than a service. We are a community of over 2000 people who embody welcome, inclusivity and friendship.
For both our community members and volunteers, SCARF facilitates learning, growth, empowerment and a sense of belonging.
“For the first month in Australia I was very happy, but when we needed paperwork, to talk, to buy something, find job, or to pay bills, it was very hard. There was a lot of paperwork. Some letters arrived in the mailbox but we couldn’t understand them. Getting a license was also very challenging. “
Being a Champion of Welcome
Whenever you choose!
In previous years we have held the Champions of Welcome fundraising campaign at a particular time, however we have now increased the flexibility of being a Champion of Welcome by allowing YOU to decide when to host your fundraising campaign.
As a Champion of Welcome, you can raise funds for SCARF in a way that suits you. We only ask that you create an online page through our fundraising platform (it’s super easy to set-up, don’t worry).
For your fundraising activity, the sky’s the limit*, so get creative! You could host a dinner party or bake sale, have a band night with a small entry fee, take on a challenge like running 10km, give something up or simply reach out to your networks and invite people to contribute whatever they can.
If you’re a business or group, you can fundraise as a team through our online fundraising platform. More options for businesses outlined below.
The important thing to know is that you can choose an fundraising activity that suits your lifestyle and that you will enjoy. It’s an opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t, or make time for an old favourite. Because hey, it’s for a great cause!
*Ok, so there are some safety and ethical boundaries you will have to work within! We’ll brief you on these before you begin.
In Champions of Welcome, each person, group or business raises funds in their own communities.
Everyone’s individual funds can be tracked and counted, as well as the total amount raised in the overall campaign.
Each person, group or business will be required to create their own online page on Everyday Hero, our fundraising platform.
People in your networks and communities can make secure, tax-deductible donations directly to your page. Donors receive an automated receipt.
You will have support from us before, during and after the fundraising period you choose.
You’ll receive our ‘Champions of Welcome’ fundraising toolkit with information, hints and tips for fundraising for SCARF.
You’ll also receive a digital ‘toolkit’ pack with graphics and resources that will help you to engage your audience in the cause and ask for support.
At any point during your campaign, we’ll be available via email to answer questions, impart advice and be a voice of support.
When your fundraising is over, we’ll touch base to debrief and hear your thoughts.
So essentially, we’ll be walking alongside you with every step!
Our online fundraising platform has the functionality to make a team page. So you can raise money and make a difference together.
If you’re a community group, school, business or just a group of friends and would prefer to raise money as a team, this is the perfect option.
Taking part of Champions of Welcome as a business is a way to contribute meaningfully to the community and engage your staff.
There are many ways to fundraise as a business. You could donate a percentage of your sales for a day, week or month, hold a staff fundraising competition, organise a morning tea or lunch, or get creative with a challenge!
Check out what our inaugural champions got up to!
Got a question? Feel free to get in touch.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about SCARF’s programs
Learn more about SCARF
Read stories of resilience and friendship