Barwon Community Legal Service (BCLS) has collaborated with Diversitat to provide free information and support for the people of Geelong Afghan communities who have been devastated by the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. This program is funded from remaining Seeking Refuge Project funding obtained in 2016, and is supported by Bellarine for Refugees.
The collapse of the Afghan government in 2021 has been a devastating blow to the already separated families who are surviving in Geelong. These Geelong Afghan communities have been severely impacted by the loss of contact with loved ones and are desperate for family in Afghanistan to be reunified with them in Geelong.
People in the Afghan communities of Geelong need family reunification assistance, permanent residency applications, financial and emotional support and trauma counselling. This need is ongoing.
This program will provide in-language information to support Visa document preparation and collation, and key complex visa requirements. It will link Afghan refugees to other relevant community services, including trauma counselling and other organisations in the region who will advocate for the needs of Afghan communities. There will be ongoing bilingual information sessions and assistance to facilitate social connection and the support they need at both an individual and community level.
This project is in keeping with the purpose of the Seeking Refuge Project, which was to assist asylum seekers living in the Geelong and Bellarine regions to apply for a visas and navigate the complex assessment process.