People making a new life in the Illawarra after escaping persecution in their countries of origin face many challenges as they try to settle into an unfamiliar place where they don’t know anyone and English is not their first language.
That’s why the #GreaterIllawarra Community Funding Program is delighted that SCARF Refugee Support is the winner of the July round and has received $2000.
The two runners-up, Youth Dismissed – Art Exhibition and Bikers 4 Heroes, each received $500.
SCARF Acting CEO, Ian Jarman, said virtually all refugees have suffered significant trauma to escape from their home countries and the organisation provides vital links to help people adjust to their new surroundings.
“Many people in the SCARF community have faced multiple challenges to eventually settle in Australia. They often leave behind family to make that transition, and that separation can cause a lot of anxiety,” Ian said.
“SCARF identified that making connections within the community remains a challenge by the time their government support ends after five years. Learning English can be a huge barrier for some community members and employment is almost non-existent. We work with refugee entrants on an ongoing basis until they feel that they don’t need our support any longer.
“Our funding is piecemeal. We rely on some government grants but we have to raise about 40 per cent of our funding ourselves through events. That’s been heavily impacted by COVID so the money from the #GreaterIllawarra Community Funding Program will be a welcome fillip for us.”
Greater Bank’s Illawarra Regional Sales Manager, Greg Creagan, said groups like SCARF Refugee support have had a difficult time during the COVID pandemic.