A container of love from the City of Angels

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Two containers of wheelchairs worth some €250,000 were gifted to Cyprus patients by the American humanitarian organisation “Global Hope in Action” via Cypriot charity EV-ZO. Cyprus Weekly The gesture will be commemorated with an event honouring the US-based GHA at Theatro Skala in Larnaca, February 11. The story, featured in Phileleftheros on Wednesday, began a few years ago with the establishment of EV-ZO, a volunteer organisation supporting adult patients with neurological disorders, by Despo Mavromichali-Neokleous. The organisation collects plastic caps ... Read More »

Child protection workers urged to consider adoption in forums across NSW

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NSW government aims to boost adoption numbers National adoption rates to an all-time low Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard​ is challenging the state’s “anti-adoption sentiment”, encouraging child protection caseworkers to give greater priority to adoption. The Sydney Morning Herald – Social Affairs Reporter ””” It’s about providing children with a family for life as opposed to carers until they turn 18. Lisa Vihtonen ””” A series of forums around NSW directed at caseworkers will emphasise the benefits of adoption ... Read More »

French law forbids food waste by supermarkets

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Food banks and other charities welcome law making large shops donate unsold food and stop spoiling items to deter foragers The Guardian – Angelique Chrisafis in Paris France has become the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food, forcing them instead to donate it to charities and food banks. Under a law passed unanimously by the French senate, as of Wednesday large shops will no longer bin good quality food approaching its best-before ... Read More »

Canberra Uniting Church will accept appeals for sanctuary from refugees

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Canberra’s Uniting Church congregations would welcome refugees seeking sanctuary from deportation to Manus Island or Nauru as a result of Wednesday’s High Court ruling “with open doors, open hearts, and open tables”, church leaders said on Thursday. The Canberra Times – David Ellery, Reporter for The Canberra Times “It’s called civil disobedience and churches have been doing it for a long time,” the Reverend Anne Ryan of the Tuggeranong Uniting Church at Erindale said. While Canberra’s Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian communities ... Read More »

Church’s lead on asylum seekers sanctuary a game changer

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Editorial The Federal Government’s Herodian stance on asylum seekers affected by a High Court decision which has cleared the way to banish almost 270 people, including 37 babies, to off-shore detention needs a serious rethink thanks to the Christian churches. The Canberra Times  By offering sanctuary the churches have set the Government on course for an international public relations disaster in the event it holds firm to the hard line taken to date. Will a government led by Malcolm Turnbull ... Read More »

Nauru: How long can we keep lying to ourselves?

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The history of asylum seeker policy in Australia will be remembered as a story of how successive governments legislated their lies to justify a world of make-believe borders and imaginary compliance. The Sydney Morning Herald – Waleed Aly, Columnist Video – CHURCH WILL LOCK DOORS TO PROTECT FAMILIES – ””” The Anglican Dean of Brisbane feels “so desperate” about the plight of asylum seekers facing deportation he is offering to protect them in the church and resist by closing the building.””” Wonderful idea, sovereignty. ... Read More »

Greek islanders to be nominated for Nobel peace prize

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International group of academics to propose those on frontline of refugee crisis be commended for their ‘empathy and self-sacrifice’ The Observer Daniel Boffey Policy editor Greek islanders who have been on the frontline of the refugee crisis are to be nominated for the Nobel peace prize with the support of their national government. Of the 900,000 refugees who entered Europe last year most were received –scared, soaked and travelling in rickety boats – by those who live on the Greek ... Read More »

Detention is torture

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David Isaacs has published a compelling piece in the British Medical Journal  titled “Are healthcare professionals working in Australia’s immigration detention centres condoning torture?” You can read it here So this is how the rest of rthe world sees us. And don’t forget what we are doing to little children. by Julian Burnside | Read More »

Actor Baron Cohen and wife give $1 mn for Syrian refugees

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London (AFP – Yahoo) – British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife are donating $1 million (900,000 euros) to help Syrian refugees, the charities receiving the money announced Sunday. View Gallery  The “Borat” star and actress wife Isla Fisher are giving $500,000 to Save the Children to pay for measles vaccinations for children in northern Syria. They are also donating the same amount to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help refugees in Syria and neighbouring countries, particularly women ... Read More »

How Europe’s poorest country is doing more than anyone else to help Syrian refugees.

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Letter From Lesbos Greeks Bearing Gifts Politico – By Annia Ciezadlo One Friday in late summer, just as the Syrian refugee crisis was beginning to peak, a blue station wagon pulled up to the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. The car’s side mirror was held on with masking tape and force of will. Big letters on the side said “Free Food For All” in English and Greek. A half-dozen sunburned, chain-smoking Greek leftists of all ... Read More »

Where The Children Of War Sleep: Heartbreaking Images Show Syria’s Lost Generation

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Five years into the war in Syria, millions have fled in search of a safe place for their family to live. Award-winning photojournalist Magnus Wennman travelled around Europe and the Middle East to document where the displaced children of the refugee crisis are now calling home. Lamar, 5 years old, Horgos, Serbia Back home in Baghdad, the dolls, the toy train, and the ball are left; Lamar often talks about these items when home is mentioned. The bomb changed everything. The family ... Read More »

A refugee, like me: why the Golden Rule matters in an era of mass migration

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As the refugee crisis worsens, various “destination” countries, including Australia, are engaging in internal debates around multiculturalism, integration and tolerance. People are worried about cultural cohesion, racial divides and religious differences. The Conversation Author: Rivka T. Witenberg, Honarary Research Fellow in Psychology , Australian Catholic University Disclosure statement: Rivka T. Witenberg receives funding from Large ARC SPIRT Grant; Department of Psychology Research Support Scheme, University of Melbourne and Australian Catholic University; Centre for Education for Human Values and Tolerance, Bar ... Read More »

Nauru detainee: I just wanted the freedom to enjoy being a mother

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anonymous As the mother of a baby born in detention, this asylum seeker feels guilt for bringing a new life into an uncertain world of incarceration. The Sydney Morning Herald I dreamed of feeling like a normal mother. After being in a relationship with the amazing man that I have loved for 13 years, I wanted to have his child. Eight years after the bitter experience of losing my first child, I wanted  to be able to taste the sweetness of ... Read More »

‘End this shame’: Clive Palmer to establish fighting fund for refugees suffering ‘torture’

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Refugee to get abortion following rape claim Security guard fired following Fairfax investigation Federal MP and mining magnate Clive Palmer has pledged to establish a fighting fund to help asylum seekers and refugees take legal action against the Turnbull government, saying Australia should “end this shame”. The Sydney Morning Herald – Nicole Hasham, Environment and immigration correspondent This is a chance to show some humanity and government ministers who are doing the wrong thing need to be exposed The member for Fairfax and ... Read More »

How you can offer a home to a refugee

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Refugees welcome in the bush Video Could in the extra intake of refugees from Syria be a boon for regional areas? Nationals MP Andrew Broad gives his view. The Age – Michael Short, Journalist As millions of refugees are displaced across the world, many Australians have been left asking what they can do to help. As pictures of a small boy dead on a beach left us heartbroken and governments struggled with a political solution to an overwhelmingly problem, some ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: What sort of country are we?

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This piece is based on the 2015 Hamer Oration, delivered by Julian Burnside on September 28, 2015. The Conversation – Julian Burnside, Adjunct Professor, Australian Catholic University  Disclosure statement: Julian Burnside is a patron of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. He does not accept any fees when acting for asylum seekers, and any offers of payment for other services in this area are politely declined. It was with some surprise that I found myself engaged in such a hotly political ... Read More »