The Northern Beaches Refugee Initiative is a grass roots organisation consisting of local residents united by a sense of compassion and duty toward our fellow humans. The group was founded in December 2015 by Michael Aitkin a minister of St. Stephens Anglican Church in Belrose in response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Over the course of 2016, the group facilitated the settlement of 6 families in the locality. These initial families have been mostly Syrians of Armenian ethnicity who were displaced from the cities of Aleppo and Homs in Syria.
What aim to do:
Enable economic, social and cultural integration of refugees into our community.
Provide refugees with affordable accommodation for a period 12 months
The market driven costs of accommodation in the Northern Beaches area would ordinarily be unaffordable for newly arrived refugees relying on government support alone. Our aim is to provide a one year financial bridge between the local market rental rates and affordability under government support.
Connect refugees with employment opportunities The Northern beaches has a strong and vibrant local economy and as a result has one of the highest rates of employment in the Sydney area.
Provide a hub for social and cultural integration This can take many forms tailored to the needs of the individual or family for example we provide links to counselling and mentoring services, we have helped children learn to swim and adults learn to drive.