COVID-19 has certainly thrown down a multitude of challenges for the human race in 2020 and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it feels like it’s so dark out there that nothing good ever happens anymore!

You’ll be heartened to hear then that ACON, in association with community groups SheQu, Sydney Queer Muslims, South Asian LGBTQ community group Trikone, and Sydney Arco Iris Latin American & Hispanic Community are continuing their good work in our community by organising and distributing non-perishable food hampers and gift vouchers to LGBTQI people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are struggling financially.

ACON received a Multicultural NSW COVID-19 grant and quickly put those funds to great use where it’s needed, working with the community groups on the ground that were already engaged with people who are doing it tough.

Megan Baiocchi, Manager of Community Partnerships and Population Programs for ACON said, “Peer-led support, such as this program, reduce the shame individuals may feel in asking for help, as well as strengthening cultural connections. Which in turn creates a sense of belonging, reducing isolation and improving mental health.

“ACON is also hoping to use this program to link affected community members in need of mental health support into our counselling services.”

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 The support is being welcomed with open arms by the people who need it.

“So far just over 30 hampers have been sent out to community members who have applied.”

Jasmine Kirk, the communications co-ordinator for SheQu told Star Observer, “we have a generous supply and would like to encourage anyone, but in particular queer women of colour who feel as though they need extra help at the moment not to hesitate. We have been delighted at how many people are interacting with SheQu for the first time, and are being safe with social distancing during distribution, maintaining anonymity, and supporting people’s needs surrounding communication and delivery.

“We wanted to help our community as much as we could, and so if anyone is interested I recommend that they contact us via social media as soon as possible to ensure they get the supplies they need.”

Alternatively there is a link to the ACON form below.

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 When asked how people can contribute to this very worth cause, Megan from ACON said, “We are not asking for community donations for this program. For anyone looking to support LGBTQI people from multicultural backgrounds during the pandemic, we encourage them to get in contact with the community groups ACON is working with to deliver this program, to see how else they can provide support and assistance.”

If you feel like you need to do something positive to counteract all the negative around us, there are links to each of the organisations below – they would love to hear from you!
Related links:

www.aconhealth.org.au

www.shequgroupinc.org

www.sydneyqueermuslims.org.au

www.trikone.org.au

Sydney Arco Iris Latin American & Hispanic Community Facebook page (no website)

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