What We Do

Refugee/Asylum Seeker Projects

Mercy Connect

For students who are asylum seekers and refugees,  adjusting to a whole new life in Australia presents many challenges. 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.

Launched in Sydney in 2008, Mercy Connect is our largest volunteer program. It recruits, trains and supports volunteers to assist school students, groups of adults and their families from refugee backgrounds adjust to life in Australia. After training, the volunteers offer mentoring to students as they settle into the Australian school and education system. They provide support that nurtures well-being and self-esteem and improves students’ literacy and numeracy skills.

Usually our volunteers have a background in school education with many being ex-teachers. Volunteers work with the refugee students, from K-12, for a minimum of a half day per week.

The program also supports parents and mature age students through adult classes providing them with the opportunity to improve their spoken and written English.

13 years on and 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.

At Mercy Works we are very proud of our Mercy Connect program which benefits refugees and asylum seekers, while at the same time enriching the skills and experience of so many generous volunteers.

We have five Mercy Connect Projects across Australia:

Sydney Learn More

Mercy Connect Sydney

Running since 2008, Mercy Connect Sydney currently has 67 volunteers and operates in 31 Primary, Secondary, Catholic and Government schools, assisting more than 450 students from a refugee background by providing literacy and numeracy during class time. The program also supports more than 60 adults through Adult Language and Conversation classes.

If you’re passionate about helping refugees and have experience working in a school setting, consider volunteering for Mercy Connect Sydney.

Each volunteer is assigned to work with an individual or small group of refugee students in a school.

You’ll play a role in overcoming racism in Australia and in breaking down cross-cultural barriers.

You’ll meet new people, share ideas and receive ongoing support from the Project Co-ordinator, In-school Co-ordinator and other volunteers.

Click here for an application form or more information on volunteering for Mercy Connect Sydney.

To donate or speak to our Mercy Connect Sydney Coordinator, please call Paul on 02 95641911 or send an email to paul.taylor@mercyworks.org.au

Melbourne Learn More

Mercy Connect Melbourne:

Launched in November 2011, Mercy Connect Melbourne has 150 volunteers and operates in 40 Primary, Secondary Catholic and Government Schools supporting more than 400 students of a refugee background by providing literacy and numeracy support during class time. The program also runs adult literacy programs supporting more than 150 adults from a humanitarian background.

If you’re passionate about helping refugees and have experience working in a school setting, consider volunteering for Mercy Connect Melbourne.

You’ll play a role in overcoming racism in Australia and in breaking down cross-cultural barriers.

You’ll meet new people, share ideas and receive ongoing support from the Project Co-ordinator, In-school Co-ordinator and other volunteers.

Click here for an application form or more information on volunteering for Mercy Connect Melbourne.

To donate or speak to our Mercy Connect Melbourne Coordinator, please call Mary on 03 9326 1895 or send an email to somml@bigpond.com

Ballarat Learn More

Mercy Connect Ballarat:

Launched in 2012, Mercy Connect Ballarat has over 30 volunteers working in 12 primary and secondary schools supporting over 50 students of a refugee background by providing literacy and numeracy support during class time.

If you’re passionate about helping refugees and have experience working in a school setting, consider volunteering for Mercy Connect Ballarat.

You’ll play a role in overcoming racism in Australia and in breaking down cross-cultural barriers.

You’ll meet new people, share ideas and receive ongoing support from the Project Co-ordinator, In-school Co-ordinator and other volunteers.

Click here for an application form or more information on volunteering for Mercy Connect Ballarat.

To donate or speak to our Mercy Connect Ballarat Coordinator, please call Clare on 0417 624 330 or send an email to mercyconnectb@gmail.com

Bendigo Learn More

Our Bendigo Program is just beginning!

We are now seeking volunteers to work in Catholic and Department of Education Primary and Secondary Schools supporting students of a refugee background by providing literacy and numeracy support.

If you are passionate about helping refugees and have experience working in a school setting, consider volunteering for Mercy Connect Bendigo.

ou’ll play a role in overcoming racism in Australia and in breaking down cross-cultural barriers.

You’ll meet new people, share ideas and receive ongoing support from the Project Co-ordinator, In-school Co-ordinator and other volunteers.

Click here for an application form or more information on volunteering for Mercy Connect Bendigo.

To donate or speak to our Mercy Connect Bendigo Coordinator, please call Clare on 0417 624 330 or send an email to mercyconnectb@gmail.com

Perth Learn More

Mercy Connect Perth:

Launched in 2015, Mercy Connect Perth currently has 55 volunteers assisting in 14 schools. The project also runs language classes for more than 30 adults. For more information or to volunteer for the Mercy Connect Perth Project contact Jennifer on 0407 444 934 or email mercyconnectp@mercy.org.au

If you’re passionate about helping refugees and have experience working in a school setting, consider volunteering for Mercy Connect Perth.

You’ll play a role in overcoming racism in Australia and in breaking down cross-cultural barriers.

You’ll meet new people, share ideas and receive ongoing support from the Project Co-ordinator, In-school Co-ordinator and other volunteers.

Click here for an application form or more information on volunteering for Mercy Connect Perth.

To donate or speak to our Mercy Connect Perth Coordinator, please call Jennifer on 0407 444 934 or send an email to mercyconnectp@mercy.org.au

facebook youtube book book book