‘Desperate’ Crowdfunding to Support Refugees
Tuesday, 3rd June 2014 at 11:20 am
Another major Not for Profit has turned to crowdfunding to help keep a program operating that matches refugees with skilled mentors following a gap in Federal Government funding.
Welfare Not for Profit the Brotherhood of St Laurence says it desperately needs the public's help to continue its Brain Bank program, which matches professionals with newly arrived refugees to help them participate in Australian communities and workplaces.
“Funding for this vital program ends on June 30, so organisers are turning to the public with a crowdfunding campaign,” Brotherhood spokesperson Hutch Hussein said.
“The Brain Bank program is a Diversity in Social Cohesion Program funded in the most recent Federal Budget, but applications close on 23 July, too late for our funding which ceases on 30 June.
“The Federal Government previously contributed just over $40,000.
“We will apply again but that will have to be for a future financial year. We need to maintain the demand, momentum and interest in the program we’ve had so far.
“The Brain Bank Project crowdfunding campaign offers community members a way to show their support for refugees.We hope to raise $79,292.
"There are many programs that support refugees to survive, but Brain Bank allows them to thrive and take the next step.
''We've already matched 130 refugees from 17 countries with mentors such as public servants, academics, scientists, management and marketing professionals."
The organisation said the volunteer mentors received training to work with refugees who need help to develop community projects, plan and run social activities or leadership and advocacy skills.
“Some of the program's graduates have become community leaders, securing funds through project planning and grant applications to run their activities. Others have had help with writing English, completing resumes and securing jobs,” Hussein said.
“The Brain Bank Project is a cost effective way to break down cultural barriers and provide practical support for refugees in our community.
“Our model is ready to go. We have many refugees we work with ready to get involved, waiting to be matched to mentors as they work towards clear goals and directions.
“We just need program staff on hand to create the connections and provide the supported space for the good stuff to happen.”
The crowdfunding campaign is being run via the startsomegood website.
“Our tipping point for The Brain Bank Project is $48,277. With these funds we can run The Brain Bank Project for one year with the support of one paid program manager,” Hussein said.
“If we reach our ultimate goal of $79,292 and beyond we will be able to employ an additional skilled staff member to support the Project.”
The campaign will run until June 27.
In recent times a number of major Not for Profits have resorted to crowdfunding to keep operating including the Refugee Council of Australia, the Climate Council and the International Association of Volunteer Effort (IAVE).