A highly successful program, that matches refugees with skilled mentors to help them thrive and grow in their new country desperately needs the public’s help to continue, was launched today by welfare organisation, the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
Brainbank matches professionals from all walks of life with newly arrived refugees to help them participate in Australian communities and workplaces and achieve their goals. But funding for this vital program ends on June 30, so organisers are turning to the public with a crowd-funding campaign.
Brotherhood spokesperson Hutch Hussein said the Brainbank Project campaign – launched on Monday, June 2 – offers community members a way to show their support for refugees. It is hoping to raise $79,292.
“There are many programs that support refugees to survive, but Brainbank allows them to thrive and take the next step,” Ms Hussein said.
”We’ve already matched 130 refugees from 17 countries with mentors such as public servants, academics, scientists, management and marketing professionals.”
The volunteer mentors receive training to work with refugees who need help to develop community projects, plan and run social activities or leadership and advocacy skills. Some have just needed coaching to get a job.
Some of the program’s graduates have become community leaders, securing funds through project planning and grant applications to run their activities. Others have had help with writing English, completing resumes and securing jobs.
Ms Hussein said that without Brainbank many refugee communities won’t develop vital skills and support networks to help them successfully integrate into Australian society.
“Brainbank allows us to harness the drive and aspiration of refugees to make a life for themselves and their families. They have many skills, expertise and initiative that we just need to bring to the fore.”
To help newly arrived refugees, donate at https://startsomegood.com/brainbank before 27 June when the campaign needs to reach its fundraising goal of $79,292.
For more information, phone the Brotherhood’s Communications Manager, Deborah Morris, on 0450 784 847.
Source: Brotherhood of St Laurence
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.