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Six things you can do today to help asylum seekers.

Looking at the photos over recent days, you can feel hopeless.

But here’s what you can do to help.

These actions may feel small, but doing even one of these things may make a difference to a person, a family or a community (and may be felt as far away as our Federal Parliament).

1. Sign a petition.

Save the Children, World Vision and Oxfam have created a petition that is calling on the Australian Government to:

“1. Increase Australia’s overall humanitarian intake of refugees to 30,000 – not just for the benefit of Syrians, but for those who refugees seeking safety.
2. Commit its fair share of humanitarian aid for Syria and neighbouring countries, lifting its commitment to $144 million in line with the extent of the need and Australia’s capacity to give.
3. Increase diplomatic efforts towards securing a sustainable and inclusive peace agreement to the conflict in Syria. Without peace, more lives will be lost and the suffering will continue.”

You can sign this petition here.

2. Volunteer.

Welcome to Australia has drop in centres in Adelaide and Newcastle where you can help by teaching English and attending community dinners.

The Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC) operate out of Melbourne and have over 25 different roles within the organisation that suit people with different levels of experience and interests. Their next information session is in October.

Find out how to volunteer at Welcome to Australia here, and ASRC here.

help asylum seekers
Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. Source: ASRC.org.au

3. Donate goods.

If you live in Victoria, you can donate food and material goods (such as clothes, furniture and other things) to the ASRC.

This then gets distributed to thousands of asylum seekers who are living without basic resources.

Here is what you can donate and how.

4. Donate money.

In addition to donating goods, donating money to any Asylum Seekers organisation can be incredibly helpful.

With the lack of support from Government, these organisation rely solely on volunteers and donations.

Donate here for ASRC.

Donate here for Welcome to Australia.

Donate here for Carad that supports refugees in Western Australia.

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5. Make a friend

Kate from Welcome to Australia suggested that attending a dinner or socialising with Asylum Seekers and Refugees can make a huge difference in changing attitudes in Australia.

Perth offers Friday community dinners at Carad and Bendigo, Victoria offers Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children.

Here are some other places you can go to meet refugees:

Welcome Centre Adelaide
Welcome Centre Newcastle
ASRC Melbourne
House of Welcome NSW
Asylum Seekers Centre NSW
Rural Australians for Refugees

Asylum Seekers help
Source: asrc.org.au

6. Make a noise.

Speaking to Pamela from ASRC, she said one of the best things we can do to create change is to make sure we’re being heard.

Attending a rally or an event in your closest city can send a clear message to the Federal Government that Australians do not find the current policies acceptable.

Here are some upcoming events:

Melbourne: Stand Up For Refugees at the State Library, October 11.

Sydney: Stand Up for Refugees at Sydney Town Hall, October 11.

Perth: Rally for Refugees ,October 11 (location TBC).

Across Australia: Walk Together, October 31.

Alternatively, you can write a letter or visit your local Government and let them know you will vote for them if they support asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.

Importantly, we know that even the smallest voice can effect a change.

As Pamela from ASRC said, “The bottom line is the hearts of the Australians have got to change the political mindset of the Federal government.”

You can find your local government through the Australian Government’s website.

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