Great results from support for Afghani girls Volleyball team

In April 2019, the Rapid Response for Refugees Circle (# 110) received an urgent appeal from the Central Ghan Volleyball Club. This club trains around 60 Afghani girls and boys to participate in the South Australian Volleyball League. They were asking for assistance to provide participation fees and uniform costs for the girls teams, without which they would not be able to compete. In response an appeal was launched through the website, and the necessary funds were raised for all three teams to continue to be on the court in 2019.

Margaret of Circle of Friends 42 led the push for funds after Rassoul, the club’s coach, approached her. Circle 42 had supported Rasoul and the Maiwand soccer team for some years until 2009. Margaret gathered friends and sent out an appeal to her family and friends, other friends spread it wider. In a happy ending the necessary $2,500 was gathered through the Circles efforts and then passed on to the Central Ghan Volley Ball Club. Margaret and friends also attended the last couple of games and cheered the girls on.

Margaret then gathered family and friends to attend the Club’s Presentation night. 37 people joined her and the teams and officials to cheer the prize winners and congratulate the teams on another season. More money was raised for the club with a donation included in the price of dinner paid by Margaret’s friends.

The teams are coached by Rassoul. The Division 2 girls reached the semi-final but Rassoul says that he considers that the biggest successes were the girls’ participation in the event and the confidence and sense of belonging which they gained week by week. Having the girls participate in the volleyball tournament also contributed to the wider community. In Rassoul’s words they were “educated in who we actually are and that regardless of how much or how little clothes you wear, you still love the game of volleyball through which connections happen and barriers are broken”.

In 2020 the club is intending to welcome anyone who wishes to participate, regardless of cultural background, in the hope that this will lead to further understanding and connection as well as swelling the numbers of players.

The future participation of these teams is dependent on the generosity of supporters so please, if you can, help to keep the volleyball in the air by donating via our secure GiveNow page. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible. Please identify donations as ‘CF75 Kensington’.

Looking back on 2019 for the Rapid Response for Refugees Circle

Feedback at last for all of you who so generously support refugees and asylum-seekers, primarily in Adelaide and surrounds, through the Rapid Response Circle (110).

Some good news

“Paul’s” health continues to improve and he is able to stay in Australia for the short term at least (see here for our initial story on “Paul”. At present he is trying to improve his English to better his chances of finding employment. His next Court Hearing will be in 2022. Our Circle has agreed to continue covering his basic costs including medication until February of next year. Any donations to cover this will be appreciated. He is also looking for work.

Who your donations enabled us to support

Thanks to regular donors we have continued our commitment to cover essential medication costs for two refugee parents with serious health problems. These currently total around $200 per month paid directly to the Pharmacies. The amount will possibly increase by $100 in 2020 as additional medications, including for rheumatoid arthritis have been prescribed for one person. We will cover this amount until March 2020 when we will be better able to assess the ongoing funds needed.

We paid for a fortnight’s emergency accommodation in a Caravan Park for a woman and her elderly mother after a car drove into and destroyed their home. During this time they secured another rental property.

Currently we are helping a woman from Afghanistan with two older children whose private rental has been concluded after 8 years. She has limited English, has been assisted with emergency housing by Housing SA and is looking for somewhere permanent. This was possible thanks to money from the Blackwood/Hills Circle. Their help, combined with that of the Willunga Circle, generous individual donors and our $5000 grant in 2019 from Catholic Church Insurances (CCI) Giving Program has enabled us so say “yes” when, at times, we were a little uncertain if funds would be there.

Especially poignant moments arose when we were asked to pay for a child’s funeral. The parents worked but had no savings to bury their child.

These are just a few of the people your donations have helped – gym memberships help with physical and mental health and social contacts, car repairs, RAA membership for a mother with a small child, ambulance cover, a flight to Adelaide from the South East for essential medical care, prescription glasses including for a child after eye surgery, dental treatment for an abscess and shopping cards for warm clothes and food are amongst the many necessities covered.

We have also passed on donations of new bedding and furnishings, curtains, rugs, sofas and other household items in good condition.

We thank you all sincerely for the care, support and advocacy you have provided throughout 2019.

The Rapid Response (Circle 110) Team

A Moment of Joy (continued)

(see here for previous installment of Mother and Daughter who spent a year in Australia, while the little girl’s Father remained in offshore detention)

As of the 9th of December 2019 this little girl continues to wait for her Father to come and fill those “Daddy shoes” by the door.

She visits him weekly in the Detention Centre Adelaide’s northern suburbs and knows he is her Baba (Father).

Although she and her mother live under Community Detention their house has become a home. There is a Christmas tree by the front door and our hope is the family will be together by Christmas and have something extra to celebrate with Aussie friends at Christmas lunch on the beach.

The sturdy 1997 Mazda so kindly donated is due for some repairs. Big thank yous to the Willunga Circle and supporters for covering replacement of the drive and timing belts and earlier, two new tyres.

The Rapid Response Circle (Circle 110) has a list of less urgent work to be done so if you would like to help a refugee in need this Christmas you can via 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)

A moment of joy

Big birthdays, like turning one, bring changes. We shared previously how the Rapid Response Circle (Circle 110) had organised a first birthday party for a baby, born to a refugee mother in outer Adelaide. For this child, the biggest change was meeting her Dad for the first time ever, after his arrival in Adelaide from detention offshore.

We would love to show you more photos – the initial push away from a little hand, the “well….ok” look and the eventual smile, but of course respect the privacy of the family. (We do have the Mother’s permission to share the image above).

Six months have passed since the initial meeting and this child’s father is still in the transit detention facility in Kilburn. We are hopeful that the family will soon be together in a family home.

Please continue to care, so that in the future, children in Australia (or under Australia’s care) are not separated from their fathers for months on end due to policies enacted by the Australian Government. If you haven’t already, please contact your local MP to urge them to adopt more humane refugee policies such as the Refugee Protection Bill that Andrew Wilkie will be introducing into Parliament on October 21st (read more on this here).

Also 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)

#toNZ Stage 3

October 5 – October 21

Continue actions listed in previous post.

ACTION 1 – Andrew Wilkie Legislation: REFUGEE PROTECTION BILL

Andrew Wilkie is introducing his Refugee Protection Bill on Monday morning October 21. There is a copy of the Bill is on the Rural Australian’s for Refugees (RAR) website. If you can be in the Parliament House Gallery on the 21st please let RAR know.

  • Email your local Member of Parliament and ask them to support the Refugee Protection Bill
  • Continue social media #toNZ
  • Download postcards from RAR website and distribute them on street and farmers’ market stalls. Ask people to sign the cards and pay for a stamp and then post to your MP.

October 13 – October 20

  • Media releases and letters to media. Eg Australia must find a solution to offshore detention………the costs are immense approximately $500,000 per detainee per year.
  • Continue social media #toNZ
  • Social media support Refugee Protection Bill
  • ·Stories to talk back radio regarding Asylum Seekers on Manus include Medivac stories.

Monday OCTOBER 21 –

Refugee Protection Bill. Meet outside parliament house at time to be advised on October 21.

Stay strong. Build alliances. Be persistent.

Further action

The Medivac Repeal Bill is expected to go to the Senate during the weeks commencing either the 11th or 25th of November. RAR is proposing that at the commencement of either of these weeks (whichever is appropriate that an ALL Night Vigil be held). Details to be forwarded shortly.

Please contact to register interest.