Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Hand of Friendship

Concerned about the wellbeing of refugees, the Charles Sturt Council in South Australia has, recently, established a new program to forge closer links between residents and the new arrivals.

The main thrust of the new policy is on building bridges across cultures; lending a helping hand of friendship where it matters.

The Community of Friends Scheme puts volunteers in regular contact with the new migrants and refugees in order to help them settle into the local community.

Meanwhile, the African refugees are the main beneficiaries of this new approach to integration and resettlement in the state.

On the fatal shore…
Summer moon

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Long Way from Home

For the refugees, every moment is a constant struggle for survival, a relentless search for home and community in an alien environment.

Omari Kimweri, 26, a Tanzanian boxer who made international headlines after defecting from the national team during the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, is continuing his fight for permanent residency in the country, after launching a professional career recently.

The Adelaide City Messenger newspaper reports that Omari is still pleading with the Australian authorities to allow him to stay; fearing arrest and prosecution if he is forced to return to his homeland in Tanzania.

Meanwhile, his fate is in the hands of the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship affairs, Chris Evans.