A group of five women in Korumburra, South Gippsland talk with ABC Gippsland about their experience in the federally-funded Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP). The group welcomed the Syrian Al Ahmad family in March 2023, offering a “helping hand when first landing” in Australia.
“I get sick of just giving money as donations, so it was really nice to do something that’s really tangible and that obviously has a massive effect on the whole family’s life,” says group coordinator Marika Sosnowski.
The group helped the Al Ahmad family to enrol in the local primary school and offered initial accommodation, though the family ultimately decided to relocate to Melbourne to be closer to a larger Middle Eastern community.
“We were really happy they felt like they had that agency to be able to do that because it was probably one of the biggest decisions they’ve been able to make for themselves for a really long time,” the group reflects.
There are more than 60 community supporter groups across Australia, and Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia invites others to join in on the growing global movement.
Originally published by Oliver Lees, ABC Gippsland 10 November 2023.