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Byron Shire
September 21, 2021

Putting our money where our mouth is for an Afghan family

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The horror the people of Afghanistan are living through makes us ask ourselves what can we possibly do to help? The Ballina Region for Refugees (BR4R) offering the opportunity for anyone to support an Afghan family.

This family is in great danger in Afghanistan. The family of six, including four children aged between two and 15 years, is trying to find a way to leave their country on an Australian Offshore Humanitarian Visa. If successful, BR4R will sponsor them to come here and support them to settle in this region.

The sponsorship is in partnership with Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) who is organising help for a number of families and individuals.

The sponsorship includes a commitment by BR4R to fund airfares for the family, welcome them at the airport, provide their accommodation on arrival, assist the family to find permanent accommodation and to support their integration into our local community.

A funding challenge

Co-ordinator of BR4R’s Resettlement Group, Stanley Yeo, said this commitment will be a funding challenge. ‘We’ve experienced such great generosity from the community in the last two years, in providing support for refugees in detention, that I’m confident that people will help with this too.’

The family are Hazara Afghans who have a long history of being persecuted by the Taliban. That, combined with their particular occupations, have made them targets of the Taliban. The family is in hiding in Afghanistan, and very fearful for their lives.

BR4R is hopeful they will be able to welcome the family soon, but the process is long and fraught. The Department of Home Affairs has been urged to fast-track processing of the family’s application. Assuming the family receive their humanitarian visas, the next critical step will be to secure a way for them to leave Afghanistan. BR4R are working with RAR to explore travel options.

BR4R invites donations to assist this family at br4r.org.au/donate-2.

If you feel you could support with accommodation or any other settlement needs that the family may have, please contact Ballina Region for Refugees: [email protected]

Also in our region, the Uki Refugee Project is sponsoring two Afghan individuals in partnership with RAR. For more information, please contact [email protected]

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 22 September, 2021

Please check, at the end of lockdown to see whats on.

Speech pathology student numbers soar at SCU

The number of domestic applications for the undergraduate speech pathology course at Southern Cross University have increased 79 per cent compared to the same time last year.

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