An Epping support worker from the Brotherhood of St Laurence will be pulling on his walking shoes this Sunday to show support for people facing hardship.
Settlement, Youth and Families program manager Joseph Youhana, who oversees the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s employment pathways for people seeking asylum program, will be taking part in the Melbourne Marathon three-kilometre walk to raise money for the program.
Since 2013, the program has helped almost 400 people seeking asylum to get a job, or improve their job prospects through further training, work experience or volunteering.
Mr Youhana, who came to Australia as a refugee from Iraq, via Syria in 2006, said he felt privileged to take part in the walk to support the most vulnerable in the community.
He said that under recent federal government changes, many asylum seekers have had their income support cut off and were facing destitution.
“We provide people seeking asylum with intensive one-on-one guidance … to overcome many barriers to work,” Mr Youhana said.
“They lack networks, they don’t understand Australian workplace culture … and employers often don’t recognise their overseas qualifications.”