Mercy Connect Morning Tea
It was an exciting day at Mercy Works on Tuesday, as we hosted our first morning tea in the building again for the first time in a long time!
We had the chance to host some of our wonderful (and patient) volunteers and donors from our Mercy Connect Sydney Program which places students who are asylum seekers and refugees adjusting to a whole new life in Australia, which as you can imagine presents many challenges, with volunteers who assist and mentor with this transition.
Being placed in a school after lengthy periods in a refugee camp or a place of refuge can be a very stressful time for these young people who can often feel isolated and anxious as they try to settle into a new culture and school system. Many of them arrive in Australia after having experienced lengthy periods of dislocation, grief and trauma. Add to that a lockdown with very little English and often little access to laptops and wifi, well it is important to stay connected.
This morning Fatima, a student from Iran with Afghani background, who was studying law in her home country, spoke to the volunteers of how important the help has been while getting her HSC (which she will complete next year) at Bankstown Senior College. Fatima hopes to continue to study law in Australia, and spoke of the challenges and how important a program like Mercy Connect is and the difference it can make.
“The nice teachers and volunteers at Bankstown Senior College helped me to find my way and start my steps again… When you are new in a country of course it is language [which is difficult], but it is like you are born again.”
Special thanks to our donors for coming including Emma Roach, Community Relations and Grants Co-Ordinator from Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club – from Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club, who give so much generous support for our Mercy Connect Sydney program. Also special thanks to our incredible volunteers who can’t wait to get back into schools when they open up next year and do what they do best; nurture, support and explain difficult maths equations!!
Mercy Connect is now operating in five cities across Australia, – Sydney, Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo, and Perth, – with more than 300 volunteers supporting over 1400 students in 116 primary and secondary schools.
If you would like to know more about our programs, or volunteer to work with students like Fatima, please click here