How to support refugees in Australia with You Belong

How to support refugees in Australia with You Belong
Written by
Joe Allanson

During September, we had the pleasure of showcasing the amazing and vital work of You Belong. We were sent amazing videos, listened to their inspirational podcast and talked closely with their team. It gave us a better understanding and appreciation of their cause and allowed us to witness the importance of their incredible work.

About You Belong

You Belong empowers refugees and migrant background people to integrate and thrive in Australia by facilitating community integration and personal growth through training and generous hospitality. You. Belong. As simple and easy as that. 

We all get a warm feeling inside when we have a sense of place in our community. You Belong believes that by making refugees feel welcome and find their place, they’re more likely to integrate into their new neighbourhoods easily.

This much-needed helping hand assists with learning English, forming lasting friendships, gaining employment, finding purpose and ultimately becoming contributing members of society. The more acceptance and support we provide to our refugees who have suffered unimaginable terror, loss and destruction, means they can find new hope, strengthen resilience and a chance to rebuild. 

The Buxton Family

Meet Timothy and Sarah Buxton, the founding directors of You Belong. Timothy and Sarah are dedicated to providing leadership, vision and support to You Belong’s operational team to ensure future sustainability and growth. 

In 2013, after more than eight years of coordinating international humanitarian trips for Times Square Church in New York City, Tim & Sarah moved to the frontlines of Northern Iraq, serving refugees that fled ISIS.


During their trip, they co-founded The Refuge Initiative, a charity initiative building communities of hope by providing both homes and holistic care to refugees and displaced people. 

In 2017 they moved back to Australia, where they founded You Belong. Tim is also the host of the Justice Matters podcast - inspiring the fight for a world where everyone belongs.

Who is My Neighbour Podcast

Who Is My Neighbour is a podcast created by You Belong where you can meet Australia's newest neighbours. Be inspired by the life and stories of former refugees and those serving alongside them.

When you’re listening to the podcast, there’s a feeling of hope, awe and inspiration as you hear incredible, firsthand stories from refugees and migrant background people who have found or are beginning to find their place in their new home.

Rahila’s episode: as an artist and a second-year student of Law at QUT, she explores how important and comforting it is that women in Australia can be so involved in politics, the workforce, voting and have the freedom to voice their opinions.

Mahsa’s episode: as a grade 11 student, youth political leader and radio presenter, she discusses her love for politics and her exploration of the political system through her involvement in the Queensland Youth Parliament. She is so passionate about creating positive change and making a meaningful contribution to society.

Listen to these incredible episodes and more on You Belong’s YouTube channel. If you’re not a refugee or person of migrant background, it’s a great platform to hear tips on how you can support and make these amazing people feel welcome within Australia. As Rahila said during her interview, even a simple smile and friendly greeting could make a world of difference. 

Did you know: You can help to fund a full season of this inspirational podcast — head on over to show your support today.

English Classes

Recently, generous givers on Little Phil funded You Belong’s weekly English ​​classes for four terms! These classes provide a cornerstone to help refugees settle into their new Australian life.

You Belong works closely with all that attend, with one to two English speakers at each table. Ensuring there is lots of one-on-one support for refugees and migrant background people is vital to ensure confidence and natural learning. You Belong aims for the classes to be fun and conversational and always welcomes a laugh when learning.

Zuhor, an inspirational attendee of You Belong’s English classes, arrived in Australia as a refugee in 2019 with her husband and two young children. When she started studying English several months ago, she was unable to say her address. She lacked confidence in her ability to learn. 

Now, Zuhor attends two classes each week and has come ahead in leaps and bounds - she's even passed her learner driver test and will go for her full licence soon. She's much more willing to come up and engage in conversation and "give it a go".

Heroes Journey 

Say hello to the heroes of tomorrow! Heroes Journey is a child-focused, experience-based, post-traumatic growth program. It leads young people to develop their “special powers” of hope, gratitude, kindness, belief, and courage to overcome current and future challenges.

The path of these heroes of hope includes development through games, stories, play, and art. It's designed for children aged 8-12 in groups of 20 students. The Heroes Journey provides stable learning, as refugees often face variable education availability and stifled development due to displacement or traumatic events.

These kids have immense potential — we must support their important futures.

How can you help?

By donating to You Belong and their campaigns through Little Phil, you are showing a direct impact to their vital and inspirational cause. When you give through Little Phil, you can see precisely where your giving is going. Your support allows You Belong to continue to support, save and empower refugees and migrant background people. Together we can make a much-needed, positive impact.

Setting up monthly giving is a fantastic way to show your ongoing support and increase your impact toward providing a cornerstone to help refugees integrate and thrive into their new Australian lives.

Showcasing the incredible work of You Belong during September was eye-opening and inspirational. It’s so clear that the support they get from you and the community of givers is the only reason they can continue doing their significant work every day.

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