Have you noticed the large amount of excavating on a block in Pine Street Eaglehawk and wondered what is going on there?
We caught up with Ashin Moonie, a Karen community leader who told us a bit about the new building which will provide temporary accommodation for new Karen arrivals.
“Our goal is to build a house that will serve as temporary accommodation for new arrivals to Bendigo”
Families are faced with a number of issues when they come here. It’s not just the language barrier, but the whole experience of being in a new country with a totally different culture and not knowing how things work. A lot of families have a problem with the language and even when they have a little understanding of it, they still need that extra bit of help.
The house should take about six months to build and should be ready for occupants in March 2020. “We are currently waiting for a building permit from the council and when we get the permit we will start building straight away” said Moonie.
Currently, the Karen population in Bendigo is 2,350, and Bendigo is a very popular destination because of the excellent support from the government, volunteer groups, families and friends when they arrive. Families come from all over Australia because of this, and organisers support the family very closely finding a house and a job.
“In Bendigo we are a bit different from other places because we have many volunteer groups and many volunteers who support the Karen refugee families when they move here”.
When the accommodation house is built, it will provide temporary housing for up to three families until they can rent a house of their own.
“We organise their airfare and collect them from Melbourne Airport then organise where they have to stay”. “They are happier with the support compared to other places”.
Moonie said that last month five families moved to Bendigo and he was worried about their welfare because they had to stay with friends until they found a house”.
“We help them to rent a house and find employment. We help them with the right
contacts and we make sure that they are happy”.