Australia: Afghan Refugees

In early 2002 we started provided financial and moral support for the establishment of Sherrin Community Organisation (SCO), a community development organisation based in western Sydney that provides services to Hazara (an ethnic minority from Afghanistan) refugees.

During 2002, SCO provided three main services: English classes to Hazara on Temporary Protection Visas; community liaison services to facilitate access to mainstream services for non-English speaking Hazara, particularly women; and homework assistance classes to Hazara children. These services were offered to new arrivals from the Hazara community to adjust to new ways of life in Australia.

SCO also works to form close relationships with other multicultural and welfare groups in the community with the aim of creating a strong and healthy society in Australia.

We now undertake advocacy work to improve Australian policies and practices towards asylum seekers and refugees. We aim for policies that show respect, decency and traditional Australian generosity to those in need. We aim for just and compassionate treatment of refugees consistent with the human rights standards, which Australia has developed, and endorsed. We are a member of the A Just Australia campaign.