The Refugee Communities Association of Australia Inc (RCAA) have established, “RCAA COVID-19 Relief Taskforce” to seek support for Asylum Seekers, other temporary visa holders and international students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

RCAA is an independent refugee-led peak national advocacy organisation providing a unified voice for people with a lived refugee experience in Australia. RCAA is active in every Australian state and territory.

The RCAA COVID-19 Relief Taskforce in partnership with Help Himalayan Youth Foundation (HHYF) have provided its first relief package on 27th April 2020 to 40 Rohingya Asylum Seeker families during Ramadan in Melbourne who are not eligible to receive any government or other support during the COVID-19 crisis.

Some quotes from the Rohingya community upon receiving food package:

This relief food package, especially during Holy month of Ramadan means a lot to our community. As Rohingyas we are forgotten people, and we thank the RCAA for supporting our community at this critical time.”

Faisel Mohammad, Chairman of the Australian Burmese Rohingya Organisation (ABRO)

Ms Hazara, a Rohingya Asylum Seeker said, “I will do 1000 Duwa (Pray 1000 times) for RCAA for coming to my door with food when I don’t have enough to feed my family in the most important religious.”

We have about 60 to 70 Rohingya Asylum Seekers in Victoria on bridging visas who are not eligible for any kind of government support. These families have no job and income, and I am seeking financial and other support for them, particularly during Ramadan.” Aung Soe said, “I thank RCAA for providing temporary relief for my people and supporting refugee communities. As an organisation formed by refugees with lived experience RCAA will understand the exact issues of refugees better than any other.

ABRO spokesperson Aung Soe (Ro Habib)

Another Rohingya Asylum Seeker, Ms Begum said, “Until today no one has provided food like this to my family. We have no support from the government or Centrelink. This food will mean a lot to us, thank you RCAA and Rohingya leaders, she said.”

Through our consultation with refugee communities, we have also found a need for digital devices (tablets, laptops, smart phones) for refugee students to study from home. Many refugee families have only one or two devices but have around five or more family members who need individual devices to be able to study from home.

RCAA urges fellow Australians and organisations to donate if you have spare devices in your homes or office. We are also seeking food items: Rice, lentils, oil, sugar, toilet rolls, noodles, pasta and other non-perishable items. Distribution will be provided to all temporary visa holders based on need.

For financial donation, please find our bank details below: 

Account name: Refugee Communities Association of Australia
BSB: 633 000 AC: 174 049 544
Description/Reference: COVID19 Relief
Please let us know by email when you make your donation so that we can acknowledge you accordingly.

For in-kind support, please contact RCAA General Secretary, Parsu Sharma Luital JP on 0412 265 317 or by email: [email protected]