CRS currently supports approximately 35 households of asylum seekers and refugees in Canberra. Our aim is to assist them to become as independent as soon as possible in our city. At the heart of our work is human connection: being good neighbours, making people welcome in Canberra, and building community with families, couples and individuals who are looking for a safe place.
We have 78 volunteers actively providing good neighbour support to those households. Your membership and support helped make this happen.
CRS also supports their connection in the local community by funding sport registration fees, school uniforms and supplies, study fees, driving lessons as a few examples.
Below are just a few of their stories.
Our Families, their Stories:
*All names have been changed.
Joan* is a single mother with four children. Despite having university qualifications that make her very employable, she has found it impossible to find ongoing employment during these difficult times and with a temporary visa. She is not eligible for any government income support and so currently relies on financial assistance from CRS and other organisations for her livelihood.”
Gloria* is a single mother with two daughters on a temporary visa. She was supporting herself doing disability support work but lost her regular casual hours because she had to have surgery. By the time she had recovered the first COVID lockdowns were in place, and she has struggled since then to re-establish enough regular work to support herself and her daughters, despite having qualifications in both child-care and disability support. Being ineligible for government income support, she relies on financial assistance from CRS until she can regain sufficient hours of work.
Sam*, his wife and teenage daughter have been waiting over 4 years already for an appeal hearing of their refugee claim. Sam has been able to support himself and his family until recently by working a full-time construction job and a weekend job. However, his wife has been seriously ill, requiring repeated hospitalisation and care at home for many months now and Sam has been struggling to juggle work with the care needs of his wife. Now with the COVID lockdown, he has been forced to turn again to charity for assistance.
Ahmed* is desperate to work to support his family, but he has been waiting for well over a year for surgery for an injury that has left him unable to work. His wife also has significant health issues. They have two boys about to start college who are working hard to overcome many years of very disrupted schooling. COVID has made all of this much more challenging for the family.
Violet* is a single mother with two daughters. She has been in Australia on a temporary visa for 9 years. She has suffered work related injuries which have required surgery and has struggled to improve her English due to focusing on doing whatever work she can find to support herself. Due to her health, she was only working limited hours, but the COVID epidemic has further reduced her work hours, making it very difficult to support herself and her daughters.
Javid*, and his family have very recently applied for asylum in Australia. While both parents have good English and are very employable, they have been unable to find employment, particularly during these COVID impacted times. As it’s very difficult to find affordable accommodation, they have a high rent, but fear that if they lose this accommodation, they will find themselves homeless. As they are ineligible for any government income support, they have been forced to rely on financial support from CRS.
Prasad* is a young single man seeking protection in Australia. He has been supporting himself working as a chef, but a very serious health issue has meant he can no longer do this work. He has been unable to find alternative work that he can manage in Canberra. He has found work elsewhere in Australia and was preparing to move to take up these positions, but successive interstate lockdowns have prevented him from doing this, leaving him dependent on CRS for his living expenses. Adding to his stress is the news that several of his close family and friends in his home country have recently died from COVID-19.
If you wish to join CRS please fill in our membership form.