In 2015, during this time for almost 7 months A group of us would visit and minister every month, a Prison ministry for 28 Tamil refugees in detention-some of them for almost 6 years was undertaken with food and trauma healing This was at the Broadmeadows detention Centre.
Another significant matter was the establishing the Jesuran Church and English classes for about 300 Refugees and Asylum seekers. We had to engage council buses to transport them.
In November 2017 the direction of the Jesuran Welfare Services still trading as Jesuran Wellness Centre changed. We formed a partnership with AMES (AMES stands for Adult Multicultural Education Services (Australia) for a year and are still continuing with AMES as an associate non-profit body.
We began to provide amenities and services to Multicultural refugees that were clients in AMES with education, employment and resettlement. We were provided an administrative building, a play group and a café to run for about 80-100 refugees and asylum seekers. A Manager was appointed, and she and her team catered for about $3.00 a meal, finger food and tea and coffee.
Things changed the following year when certain Visa holders of Asylum seekers had their income reduced to Nil by Centrelink for reasons known only to Centre Link. The Case managers at AMES approached us and the café changed into a food distribution centre -distributing fresh food, vegetables, fruits and dry goods like flour sugar, oil, toilet rolls, household cleaning products and great organizations like 2nd Byte, Food bank, 360 Australia and doners help meet the needs to provide this great service. Each week 40-60 families are helped.
From 2017 -some of the other major services we have been able to provide are:
ARUSUWAI -recipe book with a launch to celebrate this great collection of Srilankan recipes by refugees and Asylum seekers.
2 years of skills and promotion of hand work of bead making, knitting, fabric painting, sewing to Burmese women. An annual picnic, social and economic assistance like market stalls were organized.
A Pathways of Hope program was launched from interview preparation, dressing up for interviews, resume preparation, jobs and skills training placements to elevate the lives of the new immigrants with volunteer mentorship. In house community counselling and Inner healing was provided.
Annual Christmas parties for all new immigrants, volunteers, doners, networking supporters and AMES staff case workers were held with sumptuous food and gifts for all.
Fund racing events such as lunches at restaurants were organized.
A DGR (Deductible gift recipient) status was granted which attracts diners to give knowing there is a recognized tax rebate with the donation given. We are one of 125, thousand such recognized nonprofit bodies.
A constitution and a formal committee accountable to ACNC was formalized.
A Business Manager, Hub Manager and a team of dedicated beautiful volunteers are currently carrying the day-to-day function of this organization.
The greatest accomplishment was I would say Jesuran Welfare Services becoming a member of ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission)
What we are currently aiming, and praying is that Jesuran Welfare services can bring quality and quantity into the food services which we are currently suppling with the donations and supply of the food suppliers. If we have the necessary funding and patronage, we could actually buy from the supermarket fresh, quality food both fresh and dry and other household goods which will make many tables in hundred s of families a relief and refuge for their household.
I wish to thank Mr Rabi Gunaratnam the Business Manager , Seelan Singham the Hub Manager , Ravini Vyravipillai the Hub Coordinator and all volunteers past and present( some of them have been with JWS for 6 years to current ) , doners, networking supporters and stake holders ..All these beautiful people with their aroma have helped Jesuran Welfare Service as beacon of light to hundreds and thousands.