As some of you may have read in the past, my Mum, Margaret regularly travels from Ballarat to visit asylum seekers at MITA, a detention centre in Broadmeadows.
After speaking to Mum last night I tweeted a request for donations of baby wraps and also books for a 17 year old interested in biology. Thanks for all the rapid responses offering baby wraps. Much appreciated!
Mum is used to organising donations by herself. However, I’ve managed to get some further suggestions from her as many have asked me how else you can help.
Here are some specific requests/needs:
* maternity clothing
* children’s and very basic dictionaries
* colouring books with activities
* grammar books for people with English as a second language
* Some of the women have also asked for material and lace for making dresses & baby clothes.
If you are able to assist (and live in Melbourne or Ballarat), please get in contact with me.
There are also a number of practical actions we can all take to both advocate for more humane refugee policy and to assist those refugees & asylum seekers in Australia.
* The wonderful Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has a list of ways you can get involved and also produce excellent fact sheets & mythbusters to assist you in discussing these issues. *Amnesty International also has useful resources on refugee issues if you’d like to learn more.
* Write to your federal Member of Parliament: Oxfam have some tips on how to do this.
*Spread the word: host a screening or encourage friends, family and colleagues to watch Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea film. Doco is available to buy for $20 here: http://deepblueseafilm.com/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/deepblueseafilm
*Volunteer: there are a range of organisations that work to support asylum seekers and refugees. For example, you could tutor refugees in homework programs. See Refugee Council’s list of organisations in your community.