Dear Friends,

Welcome to Friends of Refugees (FOR). We are based in the heart of refugee settlement in Victoria i.e. Dandenong and its surroundings, an area that hosts over 40% of people seeking asylum in Australia settling in Victoria. Here we have found pregnant women sleeping on bare floors people going without food or furniture and living in extreme poverty because people did not have work rights at the time. We started FOR with the aim of helping these people by furnishing homes and help put food on their table as they were unable to access many of the funded services.

Since then, over 10,000 kind and generous Australians have donated food, furniture and volunteered time to help people living in poverty due to our government’s adverse policies.

Thankfully a lot them have been granted work rights now, mainly due to people such as yourselves raising your voices against the government’s unfair policies. But now we have found that those with low English and limited skills struggle to get into the job market and even if they do find work they are not being paid award rates for the work they do in blue collar jobs such as cleaning, gardening, warehousing and dish washing, because funded organisations can only assist people with good English.

To help rectify this, we have started our pre employment training and support program and launched our own social enterprises to give unemployed people from a vulnerable and disadvantaged background an opportunity to help rebuild their lives by gaining sustainable employment. Through these programs they gain practical work experience and access to a variety of further supported career pathways, either employment, further study or help to set up their own business.

But to be able to offer this, we need your support to help them live with dignity in Australia, and also to meet the increasing demands in our services due to the government’s unfair policies. For every person we support, there are five more who urgently need our assistance.

I am a full time volunteer managing FOR and struggling to keep our doors open as the need for our services increase, and as a charity run solely by volunteers we are tied up running the day to day activities to support desperate people in need and don’t have much time left to fundraise.

We appeal to the more than 10,000 of you who donated food and furniture since 2012, to donate just $10 and then share with 10 of your friends the reasons you have decided to support this cause to help us spread the word and reach other like minded people so we are able to continue employment programs for the next 12 months. Your contribution will help us provide hope to people who have very little left.

Can you please DONATE NOW. Of course, if you can afford to make it a monthly contribution of $10, it would help relieve the pressure of our operations immensely. Your help means everything to people who hardly have anything, so please join me in giving hope to desperate people in need.

In Solidarity,

Sri Samy

Founder & CEO

Friends of Refugees


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