If Everyone Helps Someone…..

Rapid Response for Refugees Circle (Circle 110) Update, Easter 2020

It’s Been Busy!

A massive thank you to everyone who has donated to Rapid Response for Refugees Circle (Circle 110), especially over the past few months. Regular or one-off donations and other Circles have kept our Circle afloat. A recent Bequest was perfectly timed as referring Agencies are overwhelmed by the large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers feeling the effects of the Covid-19 response on jobs.

Between 1 July 2019 and 9 April 2020, the Rapid Response for Refugees Circle (Circle 110) made 128 payments of more than $31, 700, literally helping 40 separate individuals and families to survive. This includes enabling people to retain basics like housing and utilities, feeding and clothing children fed, accessing essential medication and tests. “Paul” remains under medical supervision after his major surgery. He has twice been refused a Visa, and does not receive any social security. Our circle provides him with a small amount of money each week to cover shared rent, food, a Metro ticket and mobile phone costs.

Our three person team has also distributed donations of new clothes and bedding, food, furniture and whitegoods all in good condition. These have been received not just with gratitude but with excitement, especially by children involved.

The New Challenge

Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) holders are eligible for Government support through Centrelink. Those on Bridging Visas, with or without work rights are not. No work means no money or welfare payments.

Life Without Barriers (LWB) have requested temporary changes to the eligibility criteria for Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) for these and others in the community ineligible for mainstream Centrelink services. Additional Government funding has been promised which will help some. In the meantime, Refugee Support Service Agencies are becoming increasingly desperate and asking Circles of Friends Australia (COFA) more frequently for help to clients meet basic costs.

For example, not all landlords are willing or perhaps able to waive or reduce rent. Eviction is prohibited but harassment can’t be monitored. One of the Circle’s basic goals is to help families retain stable housing.

The Rapid Response for Refugees Circle (Circle 110) is a point of last resort for Refugee Support Service Agencies but options for workers who refer clients to us have become extremely limited.

What can be done?

There are many ways to get involved. If each of us helps one other person or family we will get through the Covid-19 crisis together.
Options include to:

Parenting SA Parent Easy Guide available in Dari and Uyghur

Parenting SA has now released Dari and Uyghur translations of the new multicultural Parent Easy Guides. The Guides help orientate newly arrived families to parenting in Australia and provide information about support services in the community. They will also benefit families who have been here longer.

You can now order as many copies as you need of the Dari, Uyghur and English versions, using the attached order form. All Guides are FREE in South Australia.

Free A3 size posters promoting each of these translations are currently being developed and we will let you know when these are available.

Parenting SA would like to thank the many people who generously contributed their expertise, knowledge and time to ensure the quality of these translations – translators, bilingual workers, community members and especially the families who allowed us to take their photos.

The translated Guides can be viewed here:



Translations into other languages are currently in progress. We will let you know as these become available or you can find them on our website Parenting SA.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like more information on 8161 7763.

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)