Wendy volunteered to support new arrivals through Baptist Care’s Friendship Program after learning about the refugee crisis.

The Friendship Program provides free interactive training to volunteers who are then matched with someone from a refugee background to help them to learn English and become settled in their new home.  

For Gladys, who had spent years in an overseas refugee camp, a local friend was just what she needed.  She spoke very little English, didn’t drive, and couldn’t read her mail or find her way around.

Wendy and Gladys now spend 6 hours per month together, practicing English, learning about life in Australia and getting to know more about Gladys’s neighbourhood.

Gladys’ English is improving and she is growing in confidence all the time. After living in survival mode for so long, Gladys is now beginning to nurture hope for her future.

 “I want my children to go to school to become a pilot, a nurse or doctor. Everything I hope,” she smiles.

If you’d like to learn more about befriending a new arrival, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@baptistcaresa.org.au

Photo Caption: Wendy and Gladys and her family

Photograph taken by Alex Kwong

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