News

Crowdfunding campaign raises $10k for Refugee Language Program



10 August 2016

Help give the gift of language to refugees here: sydney.edu.au/crowdfunding
Help give the gift of language to refugees here: sydney.edu.au/crowdfunding

The generosity of 143 donors has helped to raise over $10,000 towards funding free language classes, mentoring and social activities for refugees.

The University of Sydney Student & Alumni Association initiated the month-long crowdfunding campaign, setting a goal of $5,000 to help fund program essentials such as readers, textbooks and bus hire. The campaign exceeded all expectations, with the initial target of $5,000 reached in just six days.

Karen Garlan, Refugee Language Program volunteer and PhD Student at Sydney School of Public Health is extremely thankful for the support the community has shown for the program.

“As a volunteer at the Refugee Language Program, I see first-hand the profound impact of the community’s generosity. Funding from donors means we’re able to help more refugees unlock their potential, and that’s a wonderful thing to be a part of! Thank you.”

Students in the program come to Australia with no support networks or accommodation, little financial income and limited knowledge of the language and culture. Many are from violent and war-torn countries and carry with them physical, emotional and psychological scars. They are on bridging visas while their cases are being processed, and are ineligible to access services such as Medicare, Centrelink allowances or Government sponsored English classes. 

Last year more than 100 refugees enrolled in the Refugee Language Program - many of whom are highly educated and hold university-level qualifications in fields including education, engineering and medicine. The volunteer-driven program provides them not only with free English-language classes, but also a support network where they can create new friendships and gain a sense of belonging.

For the past three years the Refugee Language Program has been funded by a generous donation from the Pratt Foundation. With that funding concluding in November this year, we ask that the community continue to show their support for this important program and help refugees develop the skills and confidence they need to start a new life in Australia.

If you would like to make a donation to Refugee Language Program, please visit our online gift form.

Contact: Sarah Loxton

Phone: 02 86275304

Email: 115821575a7f275b0d453b5e05102f033955484c4a5c18475803