Veggie Wagon

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Photo: Damjan Kanevski

The Veggie Wagon is an initiative that empowers asylum seeker homes by providing gardening equipment, produce, and manual labour to strive towards sustainability with a herb and veggie garden.

Gardening strengthens self-worth, fosters empowerment and boosts well-being. It provides a critical sense of purpose - especially to those not yet allowed to work in Australia, or that feel a loss from lives they have left behind (many asylum seekers have agrarian backgrounds). Over time this self-sufficiency also reduces living costs via healthy, fresh produce.

To volunteer or donate goods to the Veggie Wagon, please email us at recruitment@westwelcomewagon.org.au or donate@westwelcomewagon.org.au.

English Language Tutoring

Many of the asylum seekers we support come from countries where they may not have had access to education. A large proportion of them are women, with young children and no access to childcare, so are unable to attend English language classes.

We have tailored our ESL program towards these people by offering one on one tuition with the asylum seekers in their homes.

Our program involves a tutor visiting a student for one hour per week for 15 weeks. We match our tutors to an asylum seeker home that is in an area that is local to them. The timing of the visits is agreed upon with the student so it can work around your schedule.

Your assistance can directly improve the quality of life of these people by building their confidence in speaking English.

Welcome Warmth

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Hand made goods for people seeking asylum
Welcome Warmth provides hand-made woolly warm blankets and extra warm clothing for our asylum seeker homes. Our purpose is to create warmth for asylum seekers in Melbourne’s West who are feeling the cold in winter.

What's currently needed:

  • Door Snakes
  • Slippers - children's sizes
  • Baby/infant cardigans
  • Children's quilts - single sizes
  • Blankets - singles and larger

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Keeping asylum seekers warm one stitch at a time
Donate any or all of these items to an asylum seeker home today. You'll finally get to finish that craft project and all for a good cause! To donate any of these goods, please email us at donate@westwelcomewagon.org.au.

You don’t have to do it all by yourself and you certainly don't have to be experienced. Come along and join one of our regular 'crafternoons' in Footscray where you can meet like-minded volunteers and contribute to something bigger. Share a simple pattern or pick up a shared one, start section by section and join with other members to create an entire blanket.

Be part of something special - share your talents, be part of a community and help spread welcome warmth to asylum seekers.

Warm Homes, Warm Hearts

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Before and after Warm Homes, Warm Hearts

Our special project 'Warm Homes, Warm Hearts' is implemented in conjunction with our 'Welcome Warmth' special project. It identifies draughty areas of asylum seeker homes with the use of an infra-red camera, which we were able to purchase through Bendigo Bank Seddon Community Branch's Community Grant. Our team then blocks the problem area with draught proofing materials, door seals, curtains, and door snakes.

Our project helps to reduce energy consumption, lower electricity costs, and increase comfort around the home.