Friday, May 30, 2008

NSS Volunteers Update #3 / 2008

As you may know, Refugee Week is approaching: Sun 15 – Sat 21 June. The theme for 2008 is ‘A Place To Call Home’. The Newcastle branch of the Community Refugee Support Group is organising a Refugee Week Celebration/BBQ Day for all of Newcastle’s refugee communities. About 10 volunteers will be required to assist with organising, supervision, BBQ duties, joining in the fun, etc. Likely activities will be: music, dancing, mini soccer, basketball, etc. (depending on the venue). This event is a great opportunity for volunteers to show their support and spend a fun day with refugee families. The exact venue, date & time have yet to be confirmed, but lookout for the email soon from myself and/or CRS Group co-ordinator Ron Davis with the details. If you wish to pre-arrange a volunteer activity, then please contact Ron on 49 517878. Otherwise, just turn up on the day and you’ll be given a task to help with. Thanks.

The list of current NSS volunteering needs is below. Please contact me if you (or someone you know) can assist. Volunteers for In-Home Tutors and Driving Supervision are in particular demand.

* In-Home Tutors - Volunteers needed to help African refugee students with homework support in their homes.
Place: Waratah, Wickham, Islington, Jesmond, Charlestown, Mayfield, Raymond Terrace, Lambton.

* Driving Supervision – Volunteers with full driver’s licence needed to provide driving practice supervision for African refugees, who need to log 120 hours of practice to apply for the P licence test. Refugees use their own cars, are insured, pay for their own petrol, and have already had several driving school lessons.
Place: Jesmond, Waratah, Hamilton, Mayfield, Islington, Raymond Terrace.

* Outreach Homework Centre for Pacific Islander students - Volunteers needed to help students from Pacific Islander backgrounds with their homework at this new centre. This activity would suit volunteers who live in or near the Woodberry, Beresfield, Tarro, Thornton, East Maitland areas.
Place: Francis Greenway High School, Woodberry
Day: one day per week, yet to be determined (will discuss suitable days with volunteers)
Time: 3:30 - 5:30pm

* Women’s Sewing Groups / Children’s Playgroups - Volunteers needed to teach African refugee women how to use sewing machines, etc. Groups may also extend to other activities such as cooking. Volunteers also needed to assist with supervision of children in playgroup whilst mothers are in sewing classes.
Place: “Penola House” (ie. old Hamilton Police Station, on James St, between Chaucer St & Milton St)
Day: Mon (Burundian-Rwandan women) ; Tue/Wed/Thu (Sudanese women)
Time: 10am – 2pm (volunteers could do a 2 hour morning or afternoon session)

* Family Assistance – Volunteers needed to provide general assistance to refugee families, eg. weekly shopping & other transport, understanding of correspondence, English conversation practice, parenting/baby issues, etc.
Place: Islington, Waratah.

* Employment / Work Experience – There are some refugee teens / early 20s who are seeking their first job. If anyone runs a business, or knows someone who runs a business, or is in a position to assist with employment or work experience, please contact either me.
Place: Any suburb.

Michael Freund
Volunteers Co-ordinator
Northern Settlement Services
8 Chaucer Street, Hamilton, NSW 2303
Office Hours: Mon 9-5, Tue 9-5, Fri 9-1
Phone: 02 4969 3399 Mobile: 0434 426982 Fax: 02 4961 4997