Soup kitchen to help refugees
Margaret River resident Chris Thomas and the Soup Kitchen’s Dave Seegar have teamed up to raise money for Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar.
Community donations and profit from the Soup Kitchen this month will aid the pair’s hope to ease some of the suffering.
Mr Thomas last month travelled to Indonesia, where he met people who were part of more than 100,000 refugees who fled to Java en route to Christmas Island.
“These people are trapped, scared, hungry and living in inhumane conditions,” he said.
“At the time, I was able to provide donations in the form of food and clothes, but I’d like to see the community of Margaret River come together so we can raise some money, too.”
Mr Thomas said many of the refugees he spoke to were unaware of the correct procedures to gain refugee status in Australia.
“People smugglers are asking families for up to $10,000 to flee the area, and these families are so desperate that they have put their life savings and trust in these people. Families have sold their land, houses, every belonging ever owned by them, and are risking their lives to get here,” he said.
Mr Seegar said the Rohingya refuge crisis was a “horrible circumstance for this day and age”.
“For a whole race and culture to be persecuted for reasons in the 21st century that shouldn’t exist, it really makes you think about how well we have it here in Australia,” he said.
Mr Thomas and Mr Seegar would work closely with local photographer David Dare Parker, who spent a month late last year at a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh.
“We’ll raise as much as we can, so we have the funds for David to take over there, or we may even make the trip to Bangladesh and Myanmar in the near future,” Mr Thomas said.
“Hopefully, Dave and I can visit a refugee camp to cook for them ourselves.”
Donations can be made by calling Mr Thomas on 0405 275 282, or see Mr Seegar at the Soup Kitchen to get bank details.
Dave Seegar and Chris Thomas will raise money for Rohingya refugees at the Soup Kitchen this month.