By South Gippsland Rural Australians for Refugees
South Gippsland Rural Australians for Refugees (SGRAR) is saddened at the ongoing deterioration of safety for Afghan people in Afghanistan.
SGRAR, a local refugee advocacy and support group, believes the federal government needs to do more to shore up safety for Afghans fleeing the Taliban.
We welcome the extension of temporary protection visas for Afghans in Australia that Alex Hawke, the Immigration Minister announced, but ask for people who had claims for asylum, which were previously rejected, to be able to resubmit the claims in the current changed environment.
As well as permanent protection for the 4300 Afghans on temporary protection visas in Australia.
In Wonthaggi, there are four Afghan students studying at Bass Coast Adult Learning (BCAL).
These people are desperately worried about their families and their villages in Afghanistan.
These friends of ours would dearly like to bring their wives, children, parents and siblings to join them in Australia but are not able to, as they only have temporary protection visas.
As the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan, the Afghan people will never be able to return home and need permanent protection in Australia.
They need to be able to bring their families here to join them. Keeping families apart is cruel.
One of BCAL’s students (too dangerous to write names) is deeply upset.
His mother together with his brother, brother’s wife and children are in the process of escaping Afghanistan.
“Every time I call them, I hear the children crying. They are very frightened,” he said.
They have abandoned their car and are on the road towards the border seeking safety from the bullets.
But he doesn’t know whether they well get there.
Unfortunately, he lost his full-time job in construction in April 2020 when the pandemic struck.
He now works when and where he can, with whatever money he earns he has to support himself, as well as his wife and four children in Pakistan.
His family in Pakistan have been recognised as genuine refugees, but sadly he cannot bring them here as our government will not grant him permanency.
The reason is that he came by boat, when he witnessed his countrymen being murdered by the Taliban.
SGRAR is petitioning the federal government to assist him and the other four Afghan BCAL students, as well as many like them in Australia with urgent family reunion.
We are happy to help in any way needed, especially if the people arrive in Wonthaggi.
We have done this successfully when the South Sudanese and the Karen refugees came to town.
Many Afghans fleeing the Taliban are heading for the Pakistani and Iranian boarders.
For thousands, there is likely to be hunger and deprivation.
Australian could offer additional humanitarian resettlement places for Afghan people.
We offered 12,000 additional places for Syrian and Iraqi refugees in 2015.
Canada has offered 20,000 additional places for Afghan people.
To help our Afghan friends studying at BCAL, SGRAR is looking for donations from the public, no matter how small.
SGRAR account details
Account Number: 155749153
Customer Name: STH GIPPS RURAL AUST FOR REFUGEES
Please include the word ‘Afghans’
To join the SGRAR email list, please contact Felicia on email@example.com.