New appeal to Give Hope to people seeking asylum this winter

New appeal to Give Hope to people seeking asylum this winter

Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don’t have enough to eat. What good is there in saying to them ‘God bless you, keep warm and eat well’ if you don’t give them the necessities of life?  James 2: 15-16

This winter the team at Give Hope: Uniting for Asylum Seekers is asking members of the Synod and wider community to help brighten the lives of people seeking asylum through the Winter Voucher Appeal (Jul 1- Aug 31). We were thrilled with the outcome of the Christmas appeal in December 2015, with almost $5k worth of vouchers generously donated. There have been expressions of interest from across the Synod for ways to provide practical support for people seeking asylum who are living in the community- and the Winter Voucher Appeal is a great opportunity to do this.

Staff of Uniting, members of the Uniting Church in NSW/ACT and the wider community are encouraged to make a difference in the lives of asylum seekers in the community and help them to afford food and essential items, plus a few special treats they otherwise go without. These basic items and gifts (including for children) will help people through anxious times and ease their financial stress. All vouchers will be donated to Settlement Services International (SSI) which directly supports asylum seekers living in the community.

For the 9,000 people seeking asylum living on Bridging Visas in NSW/ACT, life can be very tough. They face prolonged periods of uncertainty with most still waiting to be invited to apply for a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV), and with the visa processing period often lasts more than six months. While they wait, these people must survive with minimal financial support and limited access to employment, education and accommodation. They also face adjusting to a new society and culture, settling into the community and navigating the complex visa application process with basic or non-existent English. Whilst on a Bridging Visa, people seeking asylum are entitled to 89% of the Centrelink Special Benefit Payment – equivalent to around $460 per fortnight for a single adult. This barely covers basic living expenses and rent, meaning these people often find themselves in enormous financial difficulty. These hardships, combined with existing trauma from their experiences, can seriously affect these people’s emotional and psychological wellbeing.

It’s easy to get involved in the Give Hope Winter Voucher Appeal. Simply purchase a gift card to the amount of your choice, and send it to the Give Hope Team by the end of August. You can find some great gift card and voucher ideas on our website.

Please send your gift cards to:

Give Hope Team, PO Box 7137, Silverwater NSW 2128

For more information on the appeal and some great gift card ideas visit our website.

If you have any questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Give Hope Team: Alex (02) 9407 3230, Stafford (02) 9407 3204 or Jon (02) 9407 3225; or email us at   socialjustice@uniting.org.

To learn more about the work that SSI does, visit: https://www.ssi.org.au/ 

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