Education and Tutoring

SCARF's education and tutoring Program provides services to support the learning of primary, secondary and tertiary students from refugee backgrounds.

Imagine starting at an Australian school or university as a young person from a refugee background. 

Everything in your new country is unfamiliar, from the language to the way people dress. Classes may be confusing because they are not in your first language. Homework is piling up because you may not be able to understand the questions in an unfamiliar language  You may be dealing with trauma and a disrupted education due to the conflict your family has fled. You can’t turn to your parents for help, because they’re still learning English themselves and are busy rebuilding everything they’ve left behind.  

This is the experience of many students from refugee backgrounds, and the reason why SCARF’s education and tutoring program exists. 

The program encompasses three services for students from refugee backgrounds in the Illawarra: Homework Help for high school students, Homework Club for primary students and University Support for tertiary students. Each service is delivered on a weekly or twice-weekly basis, and provides academic guidance and support, helping students to unlock their academic potential and work toward their career goals.


Student with tutor at SCARF's Homework Club, one of the three programs run within the Education and Tutoring program with us.

Homework Club

SCARF’s Homework Club provides after-school homework and tutoring assistance to primary school students from refugee backgrounds. Homework support is provided at the Wollongong Library every Wednesday afternoon by SCARF volunteers.

As part of what can be considered broadly refugee education and tutoring support. Volunteers with us at SCARF provide after-school homework and tutoring assistance to students from refugee backgrounds who are studying in Year 7 to 12. Homework Help is held every Tuesday and Thursday, 4pm-6pm at the Tom Thumb Room at Wollongong Library, Burelli Street, Wollongong.

Homework Help

SCARF volunteers provide after-school homework and tutoring assistance to students from refugee backgrounds who are studying in Year 7 to 12. Homework Help is held every Tuesday and Thursday, 4pm-6pm  at Wollongong Library.

Under the broad category of refugee education and tutoring, many of the young people we work with struggle to read or write in English, and have had their educations interrupted. We work with young people to help them keep up at school, TAFE, or university, and to complete their studies to the best of their abilities. Our Homework Help, Homework Club, and Home Tutoring provide individualised and targeted assistance. Homework Help Centre for Teenagers SCARF homework help centre for students from refugee background Our volunteers provide after-school homework and tutoring assistance to students from a refugee background who are studying in Year 7 to 12 at school, TAFE, or the Intensive English Centre in Warrawong. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4pm-6pm Tom Thumb Room at Wollongong Library, Burelli Street, Wollongong. Program Snapshot – Homework Help Centre Homework Club for Primary School Students 20170517_SCARFHomeworkClub_BearHuntPhotography-16SCARF’s Homework Club is conducted in partnership with St Mary’s Star of the Sea College to provide after-school homework and tutoring assistance to primary school students from a refugee background. The homework support is provided by senior school student volunteers from St Mary’s, with volunteer bus drivers collecting the primary school students from nearby schools. Wednesday afternoons Program Snapshot: Learning is fun at Homework Club Home Tutoring Home Tutoring is available to students from a refugee background of any age or level of education, from primary and secondary school students to TAFE and university students. Volunteers are matched to the individual needs and availability of the learners. Through their regular visits, home tutors sometimes also play an important role in mentoring other family members, too. Volunteers help them people with a refugee background develop the life skills they need to adjust to life in the Illawarra and work on building their English literacy. University Support Volunteers provide one-on-one tutoring and support for those transitioning to university.

University Support

SCARF volunteers provide tutoring and support for students at university, or those transitioning in to university. The program is a safe space where students can ask questions, learn about how uni works and be linked to other services facilitated by the University of Wollongong.

Why Education and Tutoring Matters

Realising Potential

Students from refugee backgrounds experience multiple disadvantages, including education disruption, language barriers and trauma. SCARF's education and tutoring services provide extra support to students on top of school, to help them realise their academic potential in Australia.

Career Readiness

SCARF's education and tutoring services help students to develop confidence in reading, writing and problem solving in English, and support them to performing at the best of their ability at school or uni. This supports career readiness and helps to increase outcomes for employment in the future.

Safe Space for Learning

School and university can be an overwhelming and intimidating place for students from refugee backgrounds. SCARF's education and tutoring services provide a safe, inclusive, supportive environment where students from all backgrounds can receive help.

“Getting help with homework is great but with SCARF it is even greater because we get the right help from the right teacher and most of the homework help teachers are experienced in teaching the subject which makes it a lot easier to understand the homework. Scarf homework help does not only help with homework but it helps with assignment, in the last year I have all exams and assessment in the same week so it was really hard to manage but with the great help from SCARF I got everything done on time and revised for all exams, in the end of my year school report my grade has improved so much.”
Hasan, Homework Help student
“Learning is fun at Homework Club. We play and we do our work and read our books and we do some fun things….We play on the computer and we do maths. [Our tutors] are like our friends.”
Hiba, Homework Club student, Year 3
“It’s great coming to Homework Club at SMC because they help to explain things I need help with in my homework. If you don’t have homework, they can provide worksheets to help students to learn.”
Jassmin, Homework Club student, Year 6
"The uni support program was very useful and beneficial for me because it helped me with not only completing my assignments but understanding how to answer questions in depth and correctly. One of the best part of being in the uni support program was when we role played different scenarios and find helpful ways on how to deal with them."
Benedict, University Support student

Supporting Education and Tutoring

SCARF relies on support from the wider community to deliver our Education and Tutoring program. There are many ways you can contribute, including volunteering, holding a fundraiser, or donating to SCARF.