Appeal: Help Paul* remain in his home

The Rapid Response for Refugees Circle (Circle 110) receives a number of referrals from specialised Refugee Support Agencies including STTARS (Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service), Australian Refugee Association (ARA) and the Red Cross for immediate practical assistance and comfort to people who are very vulnerable and in desperate need. We are contacted as a last resort where the Support Agencies can’t find the necessary financial or practical support for clients. So we are aware of the need to provide immediate assistance.

Paul* is one of the people who has been referred to us. At the start of the year he had his application for a refugee visa refused and subsequently had his Centrelink income terminated. Paul is entitled to appeal the visa refusal and is currently doing so. However until the appeal is heard he has to live without any income. This appeal has been postponed by the Government twice now. Our circle has been supporting Paul for the past few months but is now finding it difficult to continue. If you can help please make a donation now using reference of “110 Paul”.

“Paul” who is also dealing with a chronic illness which requires ongoing medical supervision, lives on a budget of only $200 per week. He pays $130 rent, spends $10 on transport and puts aside $60 per week for food. Mobile phone and other costs come from a small emergency payment received monthly from an Aid Agency. Circle 110 has been providing the $200 per week but we are struggling to continue to meet this relatively small amount each week and meet all out other commitments.

We are looking for a few people who can contribute to his support until his appeal in June this year. All you have to do is use our secure Give Now donation page and with reference of “110 Paul.”

If things get better for Paul there will be an immediate update on this site and you can review your donation (subscribe to our News updates to receive email notifications of new news items). Amounts over $2 are tax deductible.

If you would like more information on this case contact us.

*name has been changed to maintain privacy and to ensure there are no impacts on his appeal for asylum.

Urgent Appeal: Afghani Girls Volleyball is in need of funds to play

In order to participate in competition this year, the Afghani Girls Volleyball teams need your support.  They have been up and running for some time, thanks to their dedicated coach, Rasoul Ahmady sourcing most of the necessary funds. However, this year, membership fees are still needed.

We need to raise $2680 to enable 3 teams to play in this 2019 season.

Apart from fitness, participation in sport improves individuals’ social and team skills while exposing young Afghan women to aspects of Australian culture and vice versa, with the consequent breaking down of barriers.
Tax deductible donations can be made via our secure GiveNow account. Please add referene of Circle 110 to ensure funds go towards this appeal.

A Short Burst of Joy

Fifteen months ago this young women was sent to outer Adelaide from Nauru to give birth. She was sent without her husband and knew no one in Adelaide. A number of people from Circles of Friends, other support groups and their friends, have worked hard to ease this women’s journey into motherhood and settling into a foreign land all alone. Recently they were delighted to be able to turn this young Mum’s dream 1st birthday party for her daughter into reality!

Finding pink and white balloons, sweets and candles, icing pink and white cakes, then pumping up 100 pink and white balloons are not normal Circle activities but it certainly generated lots of happy moments. And we now know many variations of “Happy Birthday”! Rest assured that donated funds were not used, only lots of Circle energy and imagination.

It was joyful for us to be able to take the time to celebrate a young life before returning to the more sombre Circles of Friends work of supporting refugees and asylum seekers in and around Adelaide who have no or very limited income and are not permitted to work. If you would like to support this work please consider a contribution to Circle 110, donating through our secure GiveNow account. We appreciate every donation small or large – they all contribute to directly helping someone in need.

Trish Dundon, Convenor Circle 110 (Rapid Response Circle)

Successful Appeal: Help a widow attend her husband’s funeral

With help from Hazara community members and other Donors, this appeal has been funded.  Thank you all who contributed.

In 2017 at the age of 43 an Hazara man from Afghanistan, living in rural South Australia, was diagnosed with late stage colorectal cancer which proved unresponsive to treatment. Early in 2018 clinicians were able to stabilise his illness enough for him to meet his wife and three children in Pakistan. On his return to South Australia and theirs to Afghanistan, they applied for tourist Visas to visit him. These were denied on the grounds they were unlikely to return.

Before a visa for his wife to travel alone was granted he died. This man was in Australia on a temporary protection visa which did not allow him to sponsor his family to join him. As a result he spent the last years of his life in safety but separated from his wife and children. His dying wish as stated in his Will was that his wife would at least be present at his funeral in South Australia.  His Hazara community will organise his funeral and host his widow. However they need to raise around $2000 for her air fares. Any contribution will be deeply appreciated. You can make a donation for this appeal via  our secure GiveNow webpage. When making your donation please specify that donations are for Circle 115).

From Bad to Dire

At this moment, particularly in Adelaide metropolitan areas, many refugees and asylum-seekers in living in South Australia have no income and are unable to meet the basic costs of living – rent, power, water and even food.
Several are families with young children transferred to Adelaide from Nauru in the past 6 months and living under Community Detention Orders.  They have health care entitlements but no work rights, are forbidden to earn income in any form and may not volunteer without Department of Home Affairs.
Others, who arrived by boat, have access to Medicare but  zero Centrelink income, regardless of their family situation, after a double refusal from the Department to their application for protection.  While legal support is largely provided pro bono and final Appeals to the Federal Circuit Court &/or Federal Court are made, this situation often continues for many months.  Only temporary visas for 3 or 5 year visas are available at best.
People on Bridging Visas have work rights but are often unemployable due to workers  having only temporary visas, poor physical and/or mental health, no car, caring for young children, and/or insufficient English.   They receive Medicare and 89% of Special Benefit – about $35 per day for a single adult with no children.
A Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) allows up to 5 years to work, study or both in a designated geographical area.   Holders can access Centrelink between jobs, but if they accept benefits for more than 18 months they forfeit the right to an avenue for a more substantive visa.  The payment stops immediately when full-time study is undertaken leaving holders with no income on which to actually live.  Employers may be reluctant to take on staff who may be only here short term; some seeking work are unemployable for reasons of health, access to transport, English language and skill limitations.
Temporary Protection Visas, a Refugee or Humanitarian Visa also provide 89% of Centrelink Benefits.  Adult children sponsored by family members on Humanitarian visas for Family Reunion receive no Centrelink payments for two years. If the applicant for family reunion unexpectedly falls ill and is unable to work, the extended family is suddenly in a dire situation with a single Centrelink income to provide for many more people.
Many people seeking help from COFA  have been battling for protection for 5 – 8 years and have run out of options and frequently have no savings to call upon.  Circles 110 (Rapid Response), Blackwood/Hills and Willunga are under particular pressure to provide assistance.  Almost every week workers at STTARS (Survivors of  Torture and Trauma Assistance & Rehabilitation Service),  Red Cross and similar Services, seek help for people who have no money and need financial support, sometimes for months until their situation is resolved.
You can help support vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers by making a donation to Circle of Friends via our secure GiveNow webpage. Alternatively if you would like to do a EFT Transfer email us for our bank details.