The Reda family arrived in Australia in 2006 from Sudan, where four children were born into refugee camps. While they were well established in the community, they struggled to navigate the complexities of the Australian education system, and so, turned to the Volunteer Refugee Tutoring and Community Support (VoRTCS)  Program in 2012.

VoRTCS is a unique, in-home family tutoring program for newly settled refugees in the Brisbane area, assisting both parents and children within one family.

Each Tuesday evening, volunteers would spend valuable time with the Reda family, assisting them with the English language, reading, routine university and high school work. The VoRTCS volunteers helped the family to write CVs and provided career guidance and mentoring to enable the family to graduate from high school, progress through University and into full time careers.

When the Reda family graduated the VoRTCS Program in November 2013, mother Beza had gained a full-time position as a hospital cleaner at a highly regarded Brisbane hospital. Daughter Dina has commenced her third year of university, studying International Relations, and with the help of volunteers, is currently completing a semester of her course in Washington DC. Beza’s son, Hani, finished high school at the end of 2013 and commenced university in the following year.

This is only one example of the impact our VoRTCS volunteers have to empower families to integrate into their community, fulfill studies and attain full-time employment. Thanks to a recent successful grant, Vinnies have been able to expand their service to refugees in Queensland. Vinnies are currently seeking Volunteers in Logan, Ipswich, Townsville and Toowoomba.

Volunteers tutor in teams of three or more, visiting a local family for approximately 90 minutes each week for at least a year or more. Tutoring sessions focus on practicing reading, writing and speaking English, sharing community and cultural knowledge, linking families with other support services and helping families to assimilate into their new community.

The friendships and trust built between volunteer tutors and VoRTCS families allows for easy discussion of sensitive matters and private concerns, building confidence and true friendships.

To become a VoRTCS volunteer, please call: 07 3010 1069 or email your expression of interest to:

Click here to donate to the Vinnies Spring Appeal, and help our VoRTCS volunteers continue their good works in our community.

* Name changed to protect privacy