Thank you to all the people who have donated cash, goods and time to help us support the Afghan women football refugees and their families. You have been superb.
So that you all can know how your support has been received we would like to take you through the work we have been doing with the group.
At the moment, most of the footballers and their families are still in temporary accommodation in major Australian capital cities.
Women Onside has been able to support the football group* and their families together in as many ways as possible.
We are not the only people helping the group. AMES is the settlement service organisation which has been funded by the government to assist the group and they have been providing a range of support services.
But we have taken the initiative to complement AMES support services, filling in the gaps and provide the human touch and the connection to the broader Australian football community. The football families are appreciative of our help.
Here are some of the ways we have been helping so far.
Cash – prepaid debit cards have been given to players and their families based on how many people are in the family. They have been able to use cash card to buy the things they think they need, whether food or personal items.
Food – delicious home-made Afghan meals have been provided to help people feel more at home as well as boxes of pantry staples which were donated by the broader football community.
Computers – supplied by HP, in conjunction with the wonderful Craig Foster, have been provided for each family.
Clothing – has been donated by our fantastic network members and local football clubs. Everything from big warm jackets, trackies, socks and shoes. We have distributed this to players and their families based on specific needs and, of course, sizing.
Personal items – including toiletries and skin care products.
In the next phase of our support we aim to continue to help the players as they resettle in their new home, particularly in their football journey. More help will be needed when they set up their new homes and we will be there supporting them, where possible.
Solidarity in football.
* When we talk about the football group we are also including coaches and officials – they are just as much part of the football family as the players.