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Let Them Speak: Funding Interpreting for Rohingya Clients

Refugee Advice and Casework Service (Australia) Inc Other Causes...

Refugee Advice and Casework Service (Australia) Inc has listed 2 other causes:


Imagine desperately needing help, but not being able to speak the language of the person who can help you.

For 150 Rohingya people in NSW this is their current reality.  Due to unprecedented demand for free legal help, they have been on the RACS waiting list for 6 to 12 months. 

These people have been unable to lodge protection visa applications as they cannot get the help they need in a language that they can understand.

RACS' human rights lawyers are ready to help these 150 people. But with no funded interpreters, we can't speak to them.

The process of applying for protection is complex. It takes three people to translate a personal story of trauma and persecution into a legal narrative:  a client, a human rights lawyer and an interpreter. Without any funding for interpreters, RACS relies on the wider community to volunteer their skills. 

Unlike many of our other client groups, the Rohingya do not have a large presence in the NSW community. This means we cannot rely on volunteer interpreters graciously donating their time and language skills as we do with many other language groups.

Interpreting costs are extremely high and as a community legal centre with very limited financial resources, RACS cannot pay for interpreters. We need your help so that they can finally begin their journey to safety.

During March & April, we want to focus on assisting our Rohingya clients who have been waiting to tell their story for so long.

Through our clinic we provide protection visa application assistance in 3 steps:

  1. A person has an initial appointment with a human rights lawyer  to take their statement of claims for protection;
  2. Then, a follow up appointment to fill out the protection visa application form,  a lengthy and complex document of more than 40 pages available only in English; and
  3. Finally, an appointment to obtain legal advice before lodging their application for protection.

Each of these appointments takes 3 hours and requires an interpreter.

To fund interpreting for the 150 clients who have been patiently waiting for up to a year, we need your help.

The cost of funding interpreters is too burdensome for a community legal centre.

We need to raise $135 000 to cover 1350 hours of interpreting and ensure that 150 Rohingya people can complete their journey of finding a safe home.

They have been silenced for so long - Let them speak.

Are donations tax deductible? Yes

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?
Yes, immediately sent to you by email when approved.

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