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Australian Marists Help Refugees



Forum brought together 119 Marist Brothers

27/05/2019: Australia

119 brothers gathered in Australia to participate in 4 forums held on May 6 in Adelaide, May 11 in Mascot, May 17 in Brisbane and May 20 in Melbourne.

The meetings were an opportunity to meet, but above all to listen life’s experiences of an at-risk minority. An experience like that of Najib Rassa, a young 23-year-old refugee, who spoke to the Brothers about his challenges, during the meeting held in Mascot and Melburne.

The current problem of Najib is that the Department of Immigration wants to return him to Afghanistan where he would be likely to face hostility and harm.

Najib was one of the unaccompanied minors who came under the care of Marist180 when the Government was providing financial support for the accommodation and education of young refugees. This provided stability up until he and others turned 18. Since then their situation has been far from certain.

Marist180 provided some bridging support while they commenced university study.

Last year Marist180 and the Province agreed to support Najib and another four young men in the same situation, for a period of two years, while they finish their study. His story was one way of tapping into the experience of an at-risk minority. At the same time, this initiative responds to the Institute’s call to be among young people, especially the neediest, and build bridges of solidarity among different peoples.

There are 172 Brothers living in Australia and the Champagnat’s charism is carried on with many laypeople.

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