Calvary’s Refugee Mentoring Program reaches a ten year milestone
22nd June 2016
This year Calvary ACT hospitals proudly celebrate the tenth year of the Calvary Refugee Mentoring Program (RMP). It’s all part of the Little Company of Mary Health Care’s mission of promoting inclusion, dignity and respect for the most vulnerable in the Canberra community.
Calvary Bruce Private Hospital; Calvary Public Hospital Bruce and Calvary John James Hospital combine efforts to offer refugees work experience to assist them to settle into the community and to provide a pathway to jobs and a secure future. Calvary staff volunteer to mentor refugees over a period of several months.
“I think the RMP is very good. Before I had no confidence or experience. Now I have both. It’s a very good program. If I have time in the future, I would like to do it again.” – Tuang Phai-Pi, Participant
“A wonderful experience mentoring such highly skilled and motivated people.” – Alastair Carnegie, Mentor and gardener at ACT Public Hospital
More than 125 refugees have participated in the program since the initial pilot program launch in 2007.
Frances Brown, Calvary ACT’s Director of Mission, says “the program provides a positive and individualised workplace related experience to individuals with a refugee background so that they might be better prepared for career, study or community participation.
“The program aims to enhance self-esteem, assists participants in the community and fosters networks to support engagement within the Australian social and cultural context.”
Participation is through an application process via a referring refugee or community organization. The RMP incorporates three intakes per year and each placement is typically for 12 weeks.
On Thursday 23 June Calvary are celebrating the ten year milestone with program participants and mentors and with guest speaker Ms Catherine Stubberfield, External Relations Officer, of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) regional office in Canberra.