Grow a Star has been providing resources to CatholicCare’s Refugee Hub, with funding received from the City of Newcastle’s Boost Our City Grants Program since early 2020.
Initially, the Boost our City grant funding was used to provide tutors for migrant students who were struggling with home schooling during lockdown however, more recently, Grow a Star has purchased three laptops and desks for ongoing use in the Hub.
The Grow a Star team are excited to be supporting migrant families in the community with this project and we hope that this is just the beginning of a long and rewarding partnership.
Partnering with organisations such as CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning on projects like this enables us to reach more young people and their families in the region and to help them engage with their communities, particularly when English is a second language.
With an average of 14 new families being referred to the Hub each month, they rely on the generosity of partners, donors and volunteers to maintain their essential work.
There are some inspirational stories coming out of this collaboration and a couple of the students have shared their experiences with us.
Fred is 12 years old and originally from the Congo. His family fled to Kenya as a result of the war. They were persecuted in the Congo, simply because of the ethic group they belonged to. Fred’s mother passed away in Africa and he came here with his father, three brothers and one sister in 2018. His father has limited mobility due to a gunshot injury received as a civilian during the conflict.
Fred is really enjoying school at San Clemente Mayfield NSW. His favourite subjects are Maths, Science and English. He also loves sports and has his sights set on becoming a professional footballer. The tutoring program has been assisting Fred with his schoolwork, particularly English.
Aicha was born in Syria and, after losing their home in the city of Aleppo during the war, her family fled to Lebanon where they lived in a refugee camp for a number of years. Aicha arrived in Australia in 2016, when she was just 7 years old.
Aicha came here with her parents and two older brothers and met John Sandy from the Refugee Hub, who has been assisting the family with their needs.
Aicha had never attended school before arriving in Australia. She started Year 2, in 2016 at Corpus Christie, then transferred to San Clemente Mayfield NSW in 2021 to start Year 7.