6 practical ways to help refugees this Christmas

10 December 2019

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It’s hard to believe the year is nearly over, and in just over two weeks Christmas will be here. 

Last year, we put together a list of ways you can help support refugees through your Christmas giving. We had such great feedback we wanted to do it again.

Here are just a few ideas on how you can promote kindness and compassion and make a tangible difference to the refugee community here in Australia this Christmas.  

Video:
Credit: Ben Littlejohn/Act for Peace.

Buy a gift that supports its maker


Take the time to buy gifts that can support the artists, craftspeople and business owners. There are heaps of incredible artisans, bakers, jewellers and entrepreneurs in your own community.
 
SisterWorks is an amazing social enterprise set up by two incredible refugee women. Their online shop sells a range of beautiful homewares handcrafted by migrant, asylum seeker or refugee women in Melbourne, Australia. They gain financial independence by developing their entrepreneurial skills.  Order their beautiful gifts online here
 
Have someone on your list who loves fashion?  Check out The Social Outfit in Newtown or the Social Studio in Collingwood. Both of these fashion labels offer employment and training in the fashion industry to people from refugee and new migrant communities. 
 
Or have a sweet tooth in the family?  Raji, a chocolatier at the Good Project is busy making beautiful chocolates.  You can order a box of 4 or 8 handmade chocolates, and they ship Australia wide! Proceeds will help Raji to realise his dream of recreating his chocolate business in Australia. Eat chocolate, support refugee empowerment –it’s a win win!

Buy a book with purpose


There are some amazing books that you could consider giving this year. 
 
Where have I come from? From the land of rivers, the land of waterfalls, the land of ancient chants, the land of mountains... Check out ‘No Friend but the Mountains’, written by Behrouz Boochani, an Asylum Seeker who spent more than 6 years detained on Manus Island. You can buy it here.
 
Looking for your kids? Check out these children’s books where your kids can read extraordinary stories of resilience and strength, while learning more about the challenges facing refugees and asylum seekers.

Party with purpose


Having a work party, or an evening with friends?  Consider having it catered by people from refugee backgrounds who are building new lives for themselves and their families here in Australia.  

Sydney:
Parliament on King: https://www.parliamentonking.com/
House of Welcome Catering: https://www.stfrancis.org.au/house-of-welcome/catering
 
Melbourne:
ASRC catering - https://www.catering.asrc.org.au/
The Sorghum Sisters - https://www.sorghumsisters.com.au/
Tamil Feasts - https://tamilfeasts.ceres.org.au/
 
Brisbane:
The Good Food Project - https://thegoodfoodproject.net/
Mu’ooz - https://www.muooz.com.au/catering-menu
 
 

Share a meal


Taking the time to say hello and starting a conversation with new Australians is one of the most simple and powerful ways to connect and bring people together. The Welcome Dinner Project brings together Australians and newly arrived people to share stories over a pot luck dinner. 

Host your own welcome dinner or find a dinner near you.

Give a Gift for Peace 


Not sure what to give someone who has everything? Consider giving a virtual gift this year through our Gifts for Peace program. Check out our range of gifts supporting refugees, including a backpack full of school supplies or food for a Syrian family in Jordan. When you buy a ‘Gift for Peace’ we’ll send you a beautiful card to give to your friend or family member that tells them the story behind how their gift is making a difference.  Order today to ensure delivery before Christmas, or choose one of our downloadable cards to print at home.

Donate a dinner


Donating groceries is an immediate way to help newly settled refugees and asylum seekers. You will also be giving them a hand up on the pathway to food security and independence, where they have the ingredients and knowledge to make the best choices for their nutritional, social and emotional wellbeing.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s Foodbank in Footscray provides food and essentials and accepts community donations, as does Addison Road’s Food Pantry in Sydney. Or, order the groceries online and have them delivered to their designated locations. 

 

Thank you for everything you


Thank you for continuing to support people around the world impacted by conflict and disaster. ITogether, as a community, if we continue to take small actions, collectively we can create a world that does not turn its back, but instead opens its arms to refugees. 

Wishing you a very merry Christmas, from all of us at Act for Peace.

PS - Please note – we are not affiliated in any way with the organisations listed above, and are not receiving any financial gain from listing their products or services.  References to external sites are provided as information only and should not be construed as an endorsement.