By Abigail Ardron, year 11
This year, our year 11s have chosen House of Welcome as their Loreto Day cause, a worthy foundation which helps asylum seekers and refugees in Australia, “regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, nationality or religion.” (St Francis website). They have been working towards sheltering and empowering these people through “client-centred” support, nurturing hope and encouraging justice since 2001.
Today, the organisation is the “largest housing provider for transitional accommodation for asylum seekers and refugees in NSW”. Initially set up as a group of church organisations which aimed to help those seeking asylum in Australia. They began in Carramar and would continue to expand over the next 17 years. in 2010, St Francis Social Services, a founding member of the churches establishing House of Welcome, took over responsibility and since then have increased their presence across NSW.
For asylum seekers and refugees, House of Welcome provides and advocates for health services, legal support, accommodation, education, and employment. Moving to another country is already hard, however it is harder when one flees with little to no money or belongings, and does so in fear. This organisation provides much needed resources and support to those who otherwise may not have it.
At Normo, we are very familiar with the work of House of Welcome, and this Loreto Day 2018 only provides another opportunity to support them.