The Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) recently brought a family from Congo, Africa to Parkes for a visit.
The Byshimo family recently settled in Australia, and found their way to Cowra with nine other families. They wanted to have a look at Parkes, and were especially excited to visit the iconic Parkes Telescope.
The Congolese families have become a success story in Cowra with most of the young people attending school or working, while several adults have found jobs, and attending TAFE classes to learn English. One family is in the process of purchasing a house.
The families were connected to Cowra by Emmanuel Musoni, Executive Manager of the Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development (GLAPD), with help from organisations like Rotary, local churches and Cowra’s Neighbourhood Centre.
Emmanuel was a refugee, raised in a camp in Uganda until he was 16 years old. This has led him to be strongly committed and passionate about advocating for better settlement and integration of refugees and migrants who are yearning to call rural and regional Australia home.
Many African people are looking to rural areas of Australia to resettle. They can offer a wide range of vocational skills in aged care, childcare, engineering, trades such as metal fabrication, and agriculture.
The ABC recently aired an Australian Story, called A Field of Dreams, about the Mingoola community on the NSW-Queensland border who encouraged and welcomed Africans. The community has been invigorated by their presence.
Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) was formed to enable Australian Rotarians, Rotary Districts and Rotary Clubs to assist disadvantaged communities and individuals through humanitarian aid projects.