The Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group is holding a raffle to raise funds for refugees and asylum seekers who come to the area.
Local businesses and members of the community have generously donated prizes to the value of $1500, including holiday accommodation at Crescent Head and a mega hamper with a variety of local produce and products valued at more than $500.
The raffle closes on March 19 and will be drawn on March 20 during Harmony Week 2021, which celebrates Australia's cultural diversity and coincides with the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Members of the Refugee Support Group are ordinary people living on the Mid North Coast who are concerned about racial prejudice and the inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.
Refugees in Australia are encouraged to move to rural and regional areas. However, the refugees the group has helped receive no government assistance and often arrived on the Mid North Coast with few possessions and little money.
Since 2018, 10 Tamil refugees have moved to the Port Macquarie area and are now self-supporting through employment and full-time study. All experienced persecution in Sri Lanka before coming to Australia and are in danger if sent to their country of origin.
Money raised by the Refugee Support Group has helped refugees with costs associated with their move such as relocation and accommodation, transport related to gaining employment, obtaining recognition of overseas qualifications and other associated needs.
The Federal government's recent decision to release dozens of refugees who had been medically transferred to Australia from Nauru and Papua New Guinea more than 12 months ago means demand for places in regional areas is likely to rise.
These refugees have few possessions and no money, and will depend on groups such as the Refugee Support Group to move to regional areas and search for work.
For further information about the Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group or to make a donation, please go to www.mncrefugeesupport.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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