The Material Aid program is the founding program of FOR and provides support to people seeking asylum and refugees frequently at risk of poverty, malnutrition and social isolation. People seeking asylum on limited income support can barely pay their rent, utilities, travel and food. We have found pregnant women and families with children sleeping on bare floors, people going without even basic furniture like a bed or a fridge, for weeks and sometimes even months. FOR works with a range of different agencies across Victoria, and particularly in the Greater Dandenong and Casey regions, to distribute emergency aid to families and individuals who desperately need assistance. Working in partnership with local agencies allows us to distribute the household items that people need to get by every day and provide information and referrals to other support organisations. Once immediate hardships have been removed, we focus on empowering people for more positive days ahead.

Request Material and Food Aid.

If you are in need of emergency or material aid support, please contact your casework agency and ask that they refer you to Friends of Refugees Inc. or you can make a self referral and visit us at our drop in centre.

If you are an aid agency interested in working with us or you have a client that needs to access our service, please complete the Material Aid Request Form or alternatively, Contact Us.

Want to donate to our Emergency Aid?

The vast majority of the items that FOR gifts to people seeking asylum are donated by people in the local community – an act of recycling as well as compassion. Would you like to donate good quality second-hand items to people seeking asylum in Melbourne and support our RECOVER program? Click here.

Want to work with us?

Friends of Refugees Inc. works with a range of local agencies who refer their clients on to us in order to access our services. If you would like to apply to register your agency please fill out our Agency Registration Form and return to our drop in centre or via email.


Not a day passes that I don’t think of our sisters and brothers locked up in permanent detention and I struggle to come to terms with my fellow Australians who believe this is an acceptable way to treat those in dire need of our protection.
Anita Triado
Your Voices from the TODAY AND EVERYDAY #IamWithYou Movement

Operational Ethos:

These are the items that we all need and often take for granted and our aim is to give families and individuals one less thing to have to think about during an already stressful time of settling in a new country.