Throughout the past decade, we have witnessed an increase in people fleeing political conflict, environmental changes, and disasters.
Migrating to a different country gives asylum seekers and refugees hope for a better future, however they often feel alone and isolated due to language and cultural barriers, lack of opportunities for social connection, and lack of services addressing their specific needs. Providing such services and support is essential to mental and physical well-being and eases the transition from leaving their homeland to settling in Australia.
Settlement Support Services of CDNI
At CDNI, we understand the importance of helping migrants and refugees feel included, supported, and connected to their local communities. Since 2020, we have run many grassroots, community-led initiatives to provide opportunities for social connection, awareness of civic rights, learning basic skills in navigating through life in Australia – including employment and financial skills, as well as support for women in family violence situations.
Impactful Settlement Support Initiatives
We have been organising and implementing various initiatives to help new settlers and migrants to Australia know their rights and equip themselves with essential life and business skills. Following, we talk about few of our most impactful programs:
A highly successful and praised endeavour of CDNI was the “Her Business” Program. This employment preparation program, funded generously by Cumberland City Council and Viqarunnisa Noon School and College Alumni Australia (VAAUS) was organised to help vulnerable migrant, refugee, and asylum seeker women of Auburn (and surrounding areas) develop new skills, reduce their sense of isolation, and increase wellbeing through social connection. The sessions provided the participants with hands-on sewing and design experience, as well as developing their communication, marketing, and business skills. The women came away from the program with a greater confidence in their abilities, knowledge of operating a small business, and the importance of financial independence. The sessions were very popular with great feedback from participants – and requests for further workshops in future! It ran over 2 x 8-week sessions in Jun-Jul 2022 and Aug-Sep 2022.
INFORMATION AND SUPPORT SESSIONS FOR TAMIL REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS
In partnership with the Tamil Refugee Council, CDNI organised and facilitated weekend walk-in sessions for newly arrived Tamil refugees and asylum seekers, to provide a space for social connection, and a forum for sharing information on employment, legal rights, housing, schools, and childcare. These sessions helped participants with navigating their new lives in Western Sydney, as well as increasing their sense of social inclusion through engagement in a safe space.
These sessions were made possible through the generous contributions of CDNI Members, Advisors and Volunteers
To find out more about CDNI and our settlement support programs, please visit cdni.org.au/settlement-support/.