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Just Manna Refugees Support Program
Refugees Support Program: The Continuing Story
‘Just Manna’ has committed to giving $1000
to a local refuge for women who live on the streets of Fremantle. The $1000 gift is to go towards immediate physical repairs of the overnight refuge building and to purchase personal items like clothes and toiletries that are offered to the women who use the facility. A gift of your time…the Women’s refuge would appreciate a couple of hours gardening per month. Just Manna would appreciate donations of time & money to assist with this important work. If you would like more information please speak to any member of the Just Manna team.
Good News from Just Manna
About a year ago, Just Manna supported an application for a Special Humanitarian Visa for an Afghani man, Ali Reza, and his wife and family to come to Australia as refugees. After Ali’s first wife Fatima died tragically, while in detention here in 2002, he and the children returned to Afghanistan with her body. But Afghanistan was too dangerous for them and they escaped to a refugee camp in Pakistan (and Ali has married again and had another child). It was Fatima’s dream that her children be given a chance for a new life in Australia, and Just Manna was keen to help with the fulfilment of her dream.
Such a visa had never been granted but we still dared to hope. And the visa has now been granted – subject to health checks – so we look forward to welcoming Ali Reza and family to Western Australia and St Paul’s within six months.
Just Manna Update: Rejoice, a lost one has been found – Abraham one of the young men currently receiving support from Just Manna is very happy because he has just discovered that his elder brother who was missing for 10 years is alive and well in the Sudan! In Jan 2009 Abraham and Mayom need to find new accommodation. Both have been studying and working to help support their family members who remain in Africa in refugee camps. Abraham is currently looking for work. If you think you may be able to help with work or accommodation please contact either Mayom direct on 0413629883 or Just Manna rep Michael on 9384 6218.
Ali Reza and family have been granted the Special Humanitarian Visa!!!
It is the first time a visa of this kind has ever been approved!
Sharing our Gifts
These extracts from a recent “Just Manna” email exchange illustrate the often unseen giving that is the blessing of this community…….
- I just want you all [Just Manna] to know I think you are wonderful and do an amazing job!!
- I have also had wonderful help and support by many beautiful St Paul’s people
- On behalf of our congregation of St. Paul community church, I also say thank you. There are no words to express my gratitude for all you've done. You've restored my faith, our faith and we'll be forever thankful.
- I still feel very much a part of the St Paul’s community! What you do for others is what I believe Church should be all about
- People like you brighten the world for the rest of us. My " thank you" seems so small compared to all you've done, but it comes from my heart. I'm overwhelmed by your generosity.
Just Manna refugee support – The refugees that we are working with are under immense pressure to send money to support family members in Africa. This has caused conflict between the desire to study and the need to earn money which is the current priority. To qualify for better jobs the guys need manual drivers licenses. Just Manna would like to help offset the cost of some driving lessons for the guys. How might you help; make a donation towards the cost of driving lessons or make yourself available to teach the guys. For further information contact Michael Jessup or any member of the Just Manna team.
St Paul’s NEW Refugee Support Initiative was ‘launched by Dr Carmen Lawrence … Please see Laurel, Angela, Lyn, Fe or Joan for details to join in and help with our ministry of Hospitality
Just Manna press release launch Photos
St Paul’s Refugee Group Report for 2006/7
Warm friendship and advice and help in a whole range of practical areas have, until now, been the major components of our contact and work with refugees. This will continue in 2007/2008 because a rich, deep on-going bonds exist.
However, other considerations are increasingly emerging which enlarge our original 'resettlement' focus. For instance we are more aware of cultural sensitivities beyond those dealt with at Refugee Induction days and we are constantly learning about how Australian norms and mores are perceived. Our small team of St Paul's workers are more aware of the anguish families feel when coming to Australia and especially when they have to leave other family members behind - often in appalling conditions. The refugee family members try to support them by regularly sending money to buy basic necessities- even water. Naturally this affects how they manage here and this is made all the more difficult as our consumer society is very attractive.
Finally we are grateful to the Just Manna team and to CARAD for their help and wisdom - especially in the legal work required for family re-unions. And we would hope that in this troubled world of ours, there will one day be a safe place for a
June 18 2007
JUST MANNA will be launched by the St Paul’s Anglican Church Community at the church hall on Wednesday 17 June at 5pm. Just Manna has just been awarded charitable status to help the needy and in particular refugees settling in the area.
Just Manna (justice/food) will be officially launched at St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall on Wednesday 27 June from 5pm to celebrate being granted official charitable status.
St Paul’s community has been actively supporting refugees for several years, working directly with families to continue practical and financial assistance.
Families have received furniture, clothing, bedding, English lessons, support at University and practical financial education.
Some have even learnt to drive.
Mothers and young children are helped to socialise with introductions to community groups and resources and help with school placements.
Visits to the ocean and the odd community soccer game are also very popular.
Just Manna is currently negotiating with officials to help Mayom (see story below) reunite with his two sisters who he recently discovered were living in a refugee camp. The parish has lodged an application with the government to help assist the sisters’ safe passage to WA to join Mayom.
Just Manna will help raise funds for airfares and has offered to help with their accommodation on arrival in WA.
Another objective of the Just Manna group is to offer direct support of the needy in general.
Spokesperson for the group Joan Jessop said the local community could offer assistance financially or practically.
People interested in helping should contact Joan on 0411 695 430.
Dr Carmen Lawrence will attend the function.
WHEN Mayom Mading Agau (37) fled his home in the Sudan he left behind more than memories.
He left behind family, friends and a war-torn village which was once his home.
Mayom first fled the Sudan in 1989 to find refuge in Ethiopia.
In 1991 another political crisis forced him out of Ethiopia and back to Sudan from where he fought his way to safety in neighbouring Kenya in 1992.
Mayom and his family have lived in refugee camps for several years before being granted Humanitarian Refugee vizas and flown to their new home in WA in March last year.
Mayom now lives with his nephew Abraham (18) in Hamilton Hill.
Both men have a strong Christian faith and found themselves a part of the St Paul’s Anglican Church community in Beaconsfield.
Since arriving one Sunday, St Paul’s has supported the men and other local refugee families in several ways.
Recently Mayom discovered that he had two teenage sisters who were alive in a Ugandan refugee camp and he is now actively trying to help them receive similar viza status here in WA supported by the St Paul’s community.
Mayom and Abraham are both studying English at Canning College and both work to support themselves financially.
“To begin a new life in a new country, is like creating a history .. you pass through many difficulties before settling into a new environment,” Mayom said.
“Thank you to all .. who welcomed us with open arms .. had it not been for them, everything would have turned out differently.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Ali Biddiscombe. 040 108 5374.
Just Manna Launch photos