The latest at SCARF March 2021

Diversity and inclusion workshop
The latest at SCARF | March 2021 ☀

Last week we celebrated International Women’s Day with the theme “Choose to Challenge”. We were encouraged to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements and to collectively help to create a more inclusive world.

This week we celebrate Harmony Week with the theme “Everyone Belongs”. By delivering diversity and inclusion workshops in schools and businesses we aim to deliver that message by building understanding of the refugee experience.

These themes resonate strongly for us at SCARF and I would hope we live and breath that message of equality and inclusiveness in everything we think and do, and that we celebrate those achievements whenever we can.

For most of us, the thought of running for our lives, fleeing our homes, communities and everything that is familiar to us is unimaginable. Equally unimaginable is the thought of finding a safe permanent place to live where everything is foreign – the culture, customs, language, physical environment, social norms, education systems, economic processes.

As SCARF supporters you have sought to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for those that have undertaken that unimaginable journey of re-settlement and have made Illawarra their home.

In the coming months, leading up to National Volunteer Week (17-23 May) SCARF will be celebrating the achievements of our volunteers by providing personal development opportunities with an event called “It’s all about You”. We look forward to sharing stories and photos after the event. We are still taking applications for new volunteering opportunities with SCARF until Friday 19 March, so please apply now.

Ian

UPDATES & NEWS

VOLUNTEER APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN

We are currently accepting new volunteers to join the SCARF community. Applications close this Friday 19 March. 

There are many ways to contribute to SCARF. Here are just some of the opportunities available:

  • L2P driver mentoring
  • SCARF befriending (paid police check required)
  • Employment mentoring opportunities
  • Program administration
  • Social inclusion events and activities
  • Tutoring: primary and tertiary studies
  • Community language interpretation
  • Fundraising team opportunities

We welcome you to join us in making the Illawarra a more welcoming and inclusive place by joining the SCARF community. If you know of anybody who is interested in volunteering with SCARF, please encourage them to join our community by submitting their application now. Applications will be open until close of business Friday 19 March. 

APPLY NOW

WELOME TO EMILY DUNCAN

Welcome to our new volunteer support officer and youth programs officer, Emily.

Emily is passionate about creating inclusive, empathetic and connected communities in her local area.

Emily has a strong history of volunteering with, and working for, not-for-profit organisations, and knows the hard work and commitment offered by passionate volunteers, and their potential to ignite change within their community.

Emily is excited to be part of SCARF, bringing with her skills in program coordination from her previous role at UOW, where she coordinated the Incoming and Outgoing Student Exchange Program.

In her spare time Emily is interested in art, music and sustainability and is looking forward to seeing what this year will bring.

THANK YOU TO CAROLINE WHO CELEBRATES HER 10TH YEAR WITH SCARF

Caroline, community support officer celebrates her 10th year with SCARF and we thanked her for her contribution.

Caroline said, “In 2012, I was new to Wollongong and was looking specifically to volunteer with people from refugee backgrounds”. She came across SCARF online, and rang Sharyn, SCARF’s founder. The following week she started volunteering for SCARF every Friday in the office assisting with paperwork, taking phone calls and assisting community members and volunteers alike.

At this time, SCARF was located in a small office downstairs in the Piccadilly Centre in Wollongong. There was A LOT of paperwork and letters related to grants and community members.
READ MORE

SCARF BRINGS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION INTO THE WORKPLACE FOR HARMONY WEEK 

Harmony Week is an opportunity to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity through inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.

In its 21st year, this year’s Harmony Week theme is “everyone belongs”. 

For over 15 years, SCARF has embodied welcome, community and inclusivity supporting refugee entrants, individuals and families within the Illawarra. With over 2100 community members, SCARF has worked to establish a community where refugee entrants feel welcomed and are able to overcome barriers.

SCARF’s diversity and inclusion team deliver tailored training workshops for schools, local businesses and other interested groups to help build understanding of the refugee experience and equip participants with a broad range of cultural capacity skills.

READ MORE

Start a conversation about #everyonebelongs this week.

BUILDING COMMUNITY RESILIENCE TO NATURAL DISASTER EMERGENCY WORKSHOPS

SCARF has partnered with the NSW State Emergency Service and Australian Red Cross to help community leaders and members learn about emergency warnings and what they can do in emergency situations.

In February we launched the first of four in language workshops titled Building Emerging Community Resilience to Natural Disaster Emergencies in a Climate of Change.

Mohammad Zoubai and Nidaa Mostafa from the NSW SES Multicultural Unit shared information with the community in Arabic. Amro Zoabe also provided language support for the Red Cross presentation on the day. 

More workshops delivered in community languages to come in the coming months.

CITIZENSHIP PREPARATIONS SESSIONS RETURN TO LET’S CHAT

This year we launched a new social inclusion program called ‘Let’s Chat’. We were pleased to see several community members join us for the first session in this program. This program aims to build the social skills of community members by providing them a platform to practice their English and make new friends. The following weeks have been increasingly popular. We would like to offer our gratitude to The Salvation Army and our committed volunteers for making this happen. 

Once again, we are thrilled to announce that this year we will be providing citizenship preparation sessions to support community members for their upcoming citizenship test. Starting from 23 April, the session will be held in conjunction with Lets’ Chat sessions at Cafe Essay on Friday mornings.

CAN YOU DONATE A LAPTOP? CONTRIBUTE TO THE SCARF DEVICE DRIVE

Last year we launched the Digital Device Drive which saw over 30 families receive laptops and tablets within the first two months of the COVID pandemic. The success of this initiative was possible thanks to the generosity of SCARF supporters who donated laptops and tablets, including the IRT Group that donated 10 almost brand new tablets.

We still have many families in need of devices. Can you donate a device? We have volunteers ready to refresh and refurbish devices to ensure they are in tip-top shape before being distributed to families in need.  


Please contact Sophie-May on sophie-may.kerr@scarfsupport.org.au if you are able to donate a device. 
DONATE A DEVICE TODAY
COMMUNITY STORIES

CELEBRATING THE WOMEN OF SCARF – BOE 

Arriving in Australia had its challenges. With no prior education or experience, Boe spent the beginning of her schooling learning English outside of her normal school classes. Yet, with hard work and determination throughout her years of schooling, Boe was awarded the Year Advisor Award at the end of high school. The award recognised her many leadership roles and her involvement in a variety of events, the Young Women’s Forum as one of many.

Beyond her extensive involvement with her school, Boe was selected to participate in SCARF’s Youth Safety Road Program and the Karenni Youth Group run by Illawarra Migrant Services. She was further involved in the Refugee Forum Leadership Camp. Her work and volunteer experience led Boe to be awarded the Friends of Zeinab Senior Secondary Scholarship by the Public Education Foundation which she will use to fund her university education.

 
READ MORE

ORDER OF CHAMPIONS SHIRTS JUST ARRIVED AT SCARF SHOP 

Buy a keep cup, Champions of Welcome tote bag, pack of gift cards or a Champions of Welcome shirt in 2021. 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.
DONATE NOW
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