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ST BAKHITA CENTRE VOLUNTEERS GIVE REFUGEES IN REID A BETTER START

Monday, 20 July 2020
The St Bakhita Centre in Homebush West has received $2,500 through the Morrison Government’s Volunteer Grants to better support their work within Reid’s Sudanese Australian community.
 
Dr Fiona Martin MP, Member for Reid, has said that supporting these volunteers means that newly arrived refugees and migrants can better adjust to life in Australia.
 
“The work that St Bakhita Centre volunteers are doing is vital for community inclusion and cohesion,” Dr Martin said. “They are empowering Sudanese migrants by teaching them new skills, linking them to employment opportunities and giving them a sense of belonging.”
 
St Bakhita Centre provides English lessons, driving lessons, digital literacy workshops and other outreach programmes to support Sudanese Australians of all faiths and ethnicities.

The Morrison Government’s Volunteer Grant will be used to purchase much needed resources for the Centre, including laptops and IT equipment as well as fuel costs for their minibus.
 
Reverend John Cinya is grateful that the grant has come at a time when it is most needed by the community.
 
“There are people in Australia’s Sudanese community that are having trouble learning online during the pandemic because they do not have laptops or computers. Some have limited computer literacy,” Reverend John said. “Now that our volunteers can buy laptops, we will be able to work with these students and help them overcome these barriers.”
 
Ms Anna Dimo, a Pastoral Care Worker at the centre, said that they run a playgroup for children under the age of six so that mothers have an opportunity to participate in the programmes as well.
“The St Bakhita Centre has been educating women from Sudan for over fifteen years, and for many, it is their first experience of education,” Ms Dimo said. “Our playgroup is volunteer run, all our work is done by volunteers who want to give back to the community.”
 
St Bakhita Centre falls within the jurisdiction of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.


Media Contacts
Vanessa Papastavros | 02 9715 7444 | Vanessa.Papastavros@aph.gov.au