Responding to the needs of Asylum Seekers and Bridging Visa holders in the community
Community Sports Engagement Program
It has been well documented that engaging in sporting activities provides physical and psychological benefits (increased fitness, reduces stress, reduces depression, builds self esteem and increases mental awareness) as well as increased social cohesion, reduced isolation, reduced anti social behaviour, promotes health and wellbeing and can assist refugees in recovering from traumatic experiences. A self funded sports engagement program has been facilitated by MultiLink to build and develop these resilience factors in the lives of young Asylum Seeker and Bridging Visa holders. Sport activities such as Volleyball, Soccer and Badminton are facilitated weekly (by peer volunteers) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings both at YMCA in Kingston and at Carina football club. On Sunday every week, the MultiLink Marvels soccer team participate in matches against other teams in the area.
Nowrooz Persian New Year Celebration
With over 250 people in attendance annually, MultiLink continues to deliver a Nowrooz celebration for members of the Persian ommunity many of whom are asylum seekers and bridging visa holders awaiting the outcomes of their permanent residency applications and who express feelings of isolation and disconnectedness from their traditional community and cultural life. This annual event demonstrates our support, respect and unity with the community and promotes social inclusion and positive mental health and wellbeing.
Asylum Seeker & Bridging Visa Holder Information Sessions
The legal information and support sessions, held in partnership with various Migration Agents, Lawyers and other agencies are delivered to support participants with information on new migration laws, fast track assessment processes and other information. One session held in partnership with Campus Advocacy For Refugees, attracted over 200 participants with multiple documents (licence, visa, ID Card etc.) were supported through MultiLink’s Justices of the Peace to certify documents relating the participant’s applications for access to documents or information. Asylum and Bridging visa holders from Afghani, Iranian, Sudanese, Somali, Vietnamese and Tamil Communities have attended the sessions.
Persian English Classes
Based on requests from Farsi speaking community members looking for further opportunity to develop their English language skills, MultiLink has continued to provide bi lingual Persian English classes to support asylum seekers and bridging visa holders through peer volunteer run conversational and topical Eng lish Class program in both Farsi and English an d provide a soft entry point for ongoing support.