The latest at SCARF June 2021

Let's Lead

Winter has arrived and COVID has crept back a little closer than we would like, so I urge you all to take care of yourselves and follow the latest health advice. I had my first jab of the vaccine a couple of weeks back and it was quick and painless. I am also pleased to say that I had a mild reaction which confirms it is working… I am waiting for someone to say welcome to the herd.

You will notice in this newsletter that things haven’t slowed down at SCARF, in fact much is happening and there is exciting news on the horizon.

Our regular program activities like Let’s Chat and citizenship training have been very well attended but there is also an increasing number of specific project events that have proven popular and are reported on in this edition. We will also be ramping up our driver mentor program, L2P, following receipt of funding to purchase a new vehicle. Many many thanks to our Patron and local MP, Sharon Bird who provided immense support through the application process. Photos next issue and on the SCARF Facebook page I am sure.

We are getting ready for the new financial year and we are hopeful that some new projects will gain the required funding so they can be integrated within our suite of activities and services. This time of year also means that we are reporting back to funders on the outcomes of our programs over the past twelve months where it has been great to re-engage with community members, volunteers and supporters as COVID restrictions have eased. We would love to hear any stories you have about reconnecting with the SCARF family or even the challenges you faced during COVID and the loss of connection to the SCARF community and how that made you feel.

Let’s hope the trend toward higher levels of engagement can be maintained so we can continue to help our refugee community members directly and in person.  

Keep your eye open for opportunities to support our fundraising efforts as we start to reach out through BBQs, functions or online and I hope I get the chance to meet you soon at one of these events.

Ian Jarman 
A/CEO

UPDATES & NEWS

SCARF WINS MAJOR AWARD AT 2021 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CEREMONY

SCARF has won the major award at the International Women’s Day awards ceremony in the Illawarra this year.

The award funding will go towards continuing to deliver programs that support healthy eating and lifestyle for refugee women in the Illawarra through the Lunchbox for Learning and the Healthy Communities initiatives which may also lead to employment opportunities for SCARF community members.

Thank you to the volunteers, staff and partner organisations that make our programs possible.

READ MORE

WELOME TO RASHA, YOUTH EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANT AND MOBILISER

At the age of five, Rasha and her family found a new home in Wollongong after fleeing Baghdad. Arriving in Australia posed many challenges for Rasha and her family. Attending school for the first time, Rasha had to navigate both the Australian school system and the English language.

However, with SCARF’s assistance and fierce determination, Rasha and her family found a home in Wollongong. Joining SCARF as a community member, Rasha says that SCARF helped her meet other people from similar backgrounds.

After leaving school in Year 11, Rasha completed TAFE and moved on to work at Illawarra Aged Care. 15 years after arriving in Wollongong, Rasha has joined SCARF as the youth employment assistant and mobiliser, hoping to help others who have been through a similar experience.

Rasha reflects on her experience saying, “I feel proud of what I’ve done and how far I’ve come. We’re very lucky to be here.”

Please join us in welcoming Rasha to the team. You can listen to Rasha’s recent interview with ABC Illawarra by following the prompts below. 

READ MORE AND LISTEN HERE

SCARF CELEBRATES NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WITH WELLBEING SESSION

To celebrate National Volunteer Week SCARF brought volunteers and staff together to turn the focus inward for a change, for a wellbeing workshop entitled “It’s all about you”.

We were thrilled to see some new faces and reconnect with familiar volunteers. It got us thinking about the many ways that we can look after our own wellbeing whilst supporting the SCARF community. Thanks to the volunteers and staff who came along.

SCARF LAUNCHES TECH SAVVY 

SCARF launched Tech Savvy in the month of May. The Tech Savvy program helps community members to build the skills and confidence to use computers, tablets and smartphones. It is funded through a Telstra Tech Savvy grant from State Library of NSW. 

Participants left with a smile on their face and new skills. One participant said, “It was very good for me because if I stay home it wastes time. If I come here even if I don’t know anything, I now know a little bit and I will know more next week.”

Thank you to volunteers and staff who made this a success! And thank you to Wollongong City Libraries for their support in delivering this program.

SCARF YOUTH PROGRAM BUILDS MOMENTUM IN 2021

Members of the SCARF youth program have been meeting regularly over the past few months to participate in a range of different activities and events. During the month of May we had a fun day in the sun, with a soccer game and hangout at Lang Park. Youth community members got pretty competitive and everyone went home with a smile on their face!

As part of the Let’s Lead program, young people from the community were also invited to come along to ‘Our best selves’, a leadership workshop day that promoted self-expression, teamwork and creativity. The day, facilitated by Cameron from Explore, Discover, and Act, involved different activities that helped to develop confidence, creativity, and initiative in participants. 

With the support of the Multicultural NSW COMPACT program and in collaboration with MCCI we will be hosting Let’s Lead events every month. The Youth Career Networking Evening held last week was aimed at connecting young people with industry professionals in the areas of hospitality, retail and small business and was well received by attendees.

BUILDING EMERGING COMMUNITY RESILIENCE TO NATURAL DISASTER EMERGENCIES IN A CLIMATE OF CHANGE 

NSW State Emergency Service and Australian Red Cross partnered with SCARF to bring awareness to the community about emergency warnings and provided advice if they find themselves in an emergency situation.

Last month saw a great turn out from the Farsi community for the Building Emerging Community Resilience to Natural Disaster Emergencies in a Climate of Change workshop.

In the Q&A segment the participants showed a connection with the presentation by asking a series of questions and sharing what was learnt. The day concluded with a light lunch provided by a SCARF community member.

Thank you to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment who funded this program.

The final workshop will be presented to the Congolese community on Saturday 19 June.
VOLUNTEER STORIES
Volunteer Spotlight: Julie, Volunteer Coordinator, Employment Support.

Since early 2020, Julie has assisted the employment and training support program, coordinating volunteers within SCARF’s employment support initiatives. Julie has been delivering Work Ready workshops to volunteers, to ensure that they are well prepared to support community members across the many facets of employment.

Julie said, “I retired from the paid workforce in late 2019 and was keen to start volunteering with the right organisation. SCARF appealed to me because of the wonderful work they do helping refugees who have been forced to flee their country because of persecution, war, or violence.

My current role is coordinating the volunteers in the employment program, a job I absolutely love. The role has enabled me to use my skills and experience gained from a career spanning 45 years working with overseas students and refugees at the University of Wollongong and other education institutions.

My work volunteering for SCARF has helped me find new friends, connect with the community, and learn new skills. Giving to others has kept me mentally stimulated and provided a sense of purpose in my retirement.”

Thank you for your invaluable contribution, Julie. 

DONATE TO THE EDMUND RICE COLLECE SLEEPOUT TODAY

Thank you to the Edmund Rice Advocacy (ERA) for Change from Edmund Rice College who has organised a sleepout fundraiser for SCARF. ERA For Change is a youth advocacy network that stands for equality, human rights, and justice and solidarity with all people, and with the earth itself.

Edmund Rice College is a long-time supporter; we would like to thank them for their continuous support and thank you to the 25 students who are aiming to raise $2000 to go towards SCARF programs and services.

The sleepout will take place on 9 June. Support their efforts below. 

DONATE TODAY

EOFY SALE! 50% OFF CARDS, KEEP CUPS AND BAGS

Take 50% off cards, bags and cups in the SCARF shop for the month of June.

Grab a keep cup for $10, Champions bag for $7.50 and a packet of four gift cards for $4. The discount will be applied at the checkout.

Grab a shirt while you are there! Shirts available in all advertised sizes.


Our website is now taking online payments. We accept PayPal and credit card. Your order can be posted to you at the standard rate or you can collect from Balinese Spice Magic,130 Keira Street Wollongong, during the following times:

Tuesday 5:30–9pm
Wednesday 5:30–9pm
Thursday 5:30–9pm
Friday 11am–2:30pm, 5:30–10pm
Saturday 11am–2:30pm, 5:30–10pm
   

100% of proceeds from our merchandise and gifts go to SCARF to support refugee entrants rebuilding their lives in the Illawarra. Where possible, we work with local manufacturers and keep single-use plastic to a minimum. 

We have just received a large order of shirts. That means all the following sizes are available to purchase now. 
 
Women: S, M, L, XL (red, charcoal and orange)
Men: S, M, L, XL (red, charcoal and orange)
Youth Tee: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 (red, charcoal and orange)
Kids Tee: 2, 4, 6 (red)

SHOP NOW
BECOME A REGULAR SUPPORTER
Do you support the work that SCARF does? A gift of $40 a month will provide refugee entrants in the Illawarra with access to the services that will help them overcome the barriers they face and lead fulfilling lives here in our community.

Settlement in Australia does not guarantee a happily ever after, but SCARF takes the first step in achieving this. We offer friendship to build a sense of belonging and the support, services and tools that lead to independence and empowerment.
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