DARA’s Refugee Hub provides integration and independence for migrants

Jessom moved to Australia with his wife and six children two and a half years ago after escaping the ongoing conflict in Syria.

When he first arrived in Australia, Jessom did not know any English. But now, thanks to the English lessons provided by DARA’s Refugee Hub, he is learning to speak, read and write.

DARA’s Refugee Hub offers a number of services for migrants seeking integration and independence, including but not limited to:

  •         AMEP/SEE language support;
  •         a pathways to employment program;
  •         pathways to independence workshops;
  •         a recreational and cultural engagement program; and
  •         a men’s program.

The men’s program, which Jessom is a part of, is known as ‘Conversation over the Barbeque’ and includes a one-hour English lesson followed by a barbeque meal. It allows men to establish friendships, connections and various other resources, all whilst practising their English and empowering them on their journey towards independence.

“Learning English, I practise with my friends [and] my teacher,” Jessom said of the men’s program.

Jessom relies on DARA’s Refugee Hub, not only to learn English, but to obtain the language skills needed to get a job and integrate into Australian society.

“I need English because I need work,” Jessom said.

DARA’s Refugee Hub offers its men’s programme every Monday night between 4.30 - 7.00PM and invites anyone who would benefit from the service to attend.

As a volunteer-driven program, DARA’s Refugee Hub needs people to donate their time to help people like Jessom become accustomed to Australian life. If you can help, please email refugeehub@dara.org.au or call (02) 4979 1142, or visit DARA’s website for more information.

Alexander Foster Image
Alexander Foster

Alexander Foster is the Digital Communications Officer in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle