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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Raising funds for refugee friendship visits in Uki

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Locals and visitors have fun canoeing together as part of the refugee friendship visit. Photo supplied.

The Uki Refugee project is continuing to support refugees in Australia through their refugee friendship visits that they have been running for several years.

The next visit will take place on the weekend of March 24 and they will be having two fundraisers to generate the funds to support the project in early March.

A film night will take place at the Regent Cinema in Murwillumbah on Sunday, March 4 at 2pm with the special screening of Chauka, please tell us the time –  this will be the first time it will be screened in regional Australia.

The documentary was shot by Kurdish-Iranian refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani on his mobile phone from inside detention on Manus Island. The footage was sent to filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani to be turned into a documentary.

This will be followed by a fundraising concert on Saturday, March 17 featuring  Kim Banffy and the Songbirds at the Uki Anglican Church. There are only 80 tickets available so organisers are recommending that you pre-purchase tickets. Tickets for both events are available through the try booking site. https://www.trybooking.com/

The friendship visits have been taking place since 2014 and have provided a great opportunity of connection between the local Uki community and refugees.

‘We had one Kurdish woman who was very depressed as several of her sons were lost in the fighting in Iran presumed dead,’ said one of the organisers Bryan McClellan.

‘She has two younger children here with her and her teenage daughter persuaded her to have a go on a flying fox at a playground we were visiting.  It was a real breakthrough moment for her and she began to smile as she flew on the flying fox. It is these moments that I really appreciate.’ 

Anyone interested getting involved or finding out more information can contact the Uki refugee group by email [email protected]

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