The PAYCE Foundation has donated $60,000 to assist the Jesuit Refugee Service Australia (JRS) which has been swamped with calls for assistance from refugees and people seeking asylum following the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
(Left to right) Maeve Brown – Direct Service Manager at Jesuit Refugee Service – Australia, Jane Turner – Volunteer Coordinator at Jesuit Refugee Service – Australia)
JRS assists refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia with emergency assistance, temporary shelter, legal clinics, English classes, a food bank and professional casework.
One of the most critical roles is to help refugees and people seeking asylum, to find work.
Many of those who have found employment have now lost their jobs.
People on a temporary visa, including those seeking protection, are not eligible for any COVID-19 government support and are reliant on organisations like JRS for assistance.
With schools and parishes now closed, JRS is also finding it very difficult to collect donations, including food.
Jesuit Refugee Service Australia Director Carolina Gottardo said JRS was incredibly grateful for the support from the PAYCE Foundation during these challenging times.
“Many of the women, children and men that JRS supports are struggling to get by with no money to buy food or medication,” Ms Gottardo said.
“People that were independent have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and are relying on charity.”
“Many are also experiencing depression, domestic violence and are facing homelessness and destitution.”
“The contribution from the PAYCE Foundation will help us with our foodbank and with emergency relief for those that need it the most.”
“Such a generous contribution makes a big difference in people’s lives.”
PAYCE Foundation Director James Boyd said JRS provided a vital safety net for people who are in a desperate situation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the people JRS supports particularly hard, and we are pleased to provide this emergency funding to assist them in the critical frontline work they do,” Mr Boyd said.