The Vietnamese Community Australia – Victoria (VCA-Vic), together with other diaspora organisations, will hold a walkathon in Princes Park on 15 September to raise funds for Australia for UNHCR’s Rohingya emergency appeal.

VCA-Vic has pledged to raise $100,000 this year to support Rohingya refugees. The organisation hopes to surpass this goal at the Walk for Humanity after already raising $85,000 with a concert in June.

Other diaspora communities, including Burmese-Rohingya and Jewish groups, will take part in the walkathon and show that they stand together with refugees.

Vice President of VCA-Vic Andrew Do said: “Many people in the Vietnamese community have first-hand knowledge of what it means to be a refugee. We know how it feels to flee your home country in fear of violence and persecution.

“Many of us would not be here today without the protection and assistance the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) offered us and our families in the 1970s and 80s. Funds raised at this event we will help UNHCR deliver life-saving support to others facing a similar dire situation.”

National Director of Australia for UNHCR Naomi Steer said: “It’s absolutely inspiring to see the drive and generosity of the Vietnamese community and other diaspora groups reaching out to others caught in tragic circumstances.

“UNHCR relies almost entirely on voluntary contributions so community support like this is vital for emergency relief efforts. This special event will provide safe water, medicine, shelter and other life-saving supplies.”

Some 720,000 Rohingya refugees are currently sheltering in Bangladesh, after fleeing outbreaks of extreme violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in August last year. Tens of thousands of these refugees are living in flimsy shelters, at risk of landslides and flooding in the monsoon season. UNHCR is urgently working to help refugees relocate to safer ground or reinforce their shelters against the elements.

The Vietnamese community in Australia has long supported Australia for UNHCR. In 2016, the community raised $500,000 to assist Syrian refugees.

The Walk for Humanity will cover a 3.5km or 7km loop through Princes Park, finishing at the Global Village where participating diaspora communities will share food and performances from their cultures. There will also be food trucks, activities for children and music.

Details
When: Saturday 15 September. Registrations open at 9:00am and the walkathon begins at 11:00am.
Where: Lawn 3, Princes Park, Carlton
Cost: $25 for adults, $20 for children. Register now at registration.everydayhero.com/ps/event/WalkforHumanityWalkathon

Other information
• Wheelchair access is available.
• Snacks and water will be provided.
• Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash.

VCA-Vic 
VCA-Vic is the peak representative body for Vietnamese people in Victoria. It was established in 1976 to assist Vietnamese Australians integrate and resettle in Australia.

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