One of our flagship programs, the Friendship Program (formerly Fuse Mentoring), has closed after 14 years. The program has been one of Baptist Care SA’s great success stories, matching over 800 people with refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to Adelaide locals who offered them friendship and support as they settled into their new home.
The joy brought by the Friendship Program to new arrivals facing the unfamiliarity of a new country, and to the local volunteers who befriended them, has been incredible.
Over the years, pairs have shared meals, met each other’s families, celebrated special events, studied, practiced English and attended community events together; helping to build confidence, reduce isolation and improve mental health.
Baptist Care SA remains incredibly proud of the program’s achievements, however a recent review has shown that there are now other organisations equally well positioned to meet the needs of these new Australians.
We acknowledge and thank coordinators Bryan Hughes and Joanne Robjohns for their amazing work, passion and commitment. We wish you every success for the future.
Thank you to all Friendship program participants; the wonderful men, women and children from 24 countries across the globe, who bravely shared their lives, struggles and dreams for the future with each other and to the hundreds of volunteers who generously provided a warm welcome to them all.