MANUS EMERGENCY FUND UPDATE Sunday 26th November

Hi everyone,
So it has been a pretty terrible few days for the men.

Thursday and Friday saw PNG immigration and police using violence to forcefully move the men onto buses and into town.
Many men have been injured in the process, and there are still men who do not have a bed in town and are sleeping on the floor in classrooms and prayer rooms.

Construction of some accommodation is still not complete. Power and water is still not fully functioning in some of the compounds.
The system for getting the men food and their allowance is still not in place.
The system for the men to get free medication is not functioning yet.

Locals blocked roads in protest at the relocation of the men, and I’ve been getting lots of messages from men who are not feeling safe at all.

In short, the whole relocation has been a traumatic mess for the men. Facilities, services, healthcare and adequate security are STILL not ready….nearly 4 weeks after the closure of the RPC…yet they have forcefully and violently moved the men into the town compounds.

The men are still not safe and free, and still have no answers about their future.

Support with food, cigarettes, toiletries etc is likely to continue to be needed over coming weeks until things are in place for the men to be able to purchase these themselves.

During the attacks on the men in the RPC on Thursday and Friday, immigration and police destroyed the men’s food, water, clothes and other possessions, going room to room. They even set fire to some.
They also smashed or stole many of the men’s phones. They especially targeted anyone who was photographing or filming what they were doing.
Many men were beaten and forced onto buses without being able to gather any of their belongings at all.

Some men have been left with literally only the clothes they were wearing.

The men are rallying together to support each other, but they now need our assistance to replace phones, clothes, shoes and other posessions destroyed by police and immigration.

GFMAN are taking details of the men who have lost everything and have started the process of getting emergency purchases of clothes, shoes and phones for the men.

If you have a friend who has lost their clothes and other possessions, please get them to message me, or you can message me on their behalf.

Many of the men were injured on Thursday and Friday. Some men have required medical attention to treat serious cuts and other wounds. But they do not have the medical supplies needed to then continue to change the dressings.

GFMAN have purchased all the wound dressings we could locally for two of the compounds for the men who were injurred by police and immigration, and will be getting more supplies delivered in the coming week.
These are at Hillside and West Haus now if you have a friend needing wound dressings/antiseptics etc.

There are also many men with both chronic and accute infections and illnesses needing medication. The men are supposed to be receiving their medications for free for the first 6 months post closure of the RPC, but this system is not in place and functioning yet and the men have been expected to pay to get their scripts filled.
We will continue to try to support men with access to meds until IHMS have this sorted out.

Men can attend the IHMS clinic to get their prescriptions, then send a message to me (or you can message for them) to ask for assistance with payment.

There are hundreds of men affected by the need for financial assistance with medications and with the need for phones and clothes.
And we continue to need your support to be able to supply these.

Thanks everyone.
Ali Murdoch
Gifts for Manus and Nauru
giftsformanusandnauru@outlook.com.au
or
facebook.com/ali.murdoch

15th February 2017 – SBS article by Nicola Heath

http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/culture/article/2017/02/15/not-profit-crowdfunding-phone-credit-asylum-seekers

 

An Australian charity is crowdfunding phone credit for asylum seekers living on Manus Island and Nauru to help them stay connected with loved ones.

By

Nicola Heath

Phone credit is a luxury for the nearly 1,300 asylum seekers currently living in Australian offshore processing plants on Manus Island and Nauru. Asylum seekers currently spend an average of 450 days in detention, a record high. Over 20 per cent have been detained for more than 750 days. For these people, phone credit offers a precious line of communication to the outside world, a means to call family, read the news, seek legal advice and find answers to concerning health questions.

Gifts for Manus and Nauru runs monthly crowdfunding campaigns to provide phone credit for 1270 people currently on its database, all of whom have passed a stringent identity check. The January campaign brought in $12,000. “It’s really good, but it barely scratches the surface of what we need,” says Annie Molenaar, the organisation’s vice president. “If we were able to raise enough money each month to top them all up regularly, we would need to raise over $42,000 a month.”

Asylum seekers on Manus Island were officially allowed to have mobile phones only after Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled in April 2016 that the processing centre was unconstitutional. Before that the mobile phones that inevitably found their way into the camp were considered contraband. “Once they got access to mobile phones, their whole worlds opened up,” says Molenaar.

Many detainees rely on the top-ups they receive from Gifts for Manus and Nauru to keep in touch with their family and friends, sometimes waiting 48 days for fresh credit. “We would love to get to a point where we’ve got them on a monthly cycle, so they don’t have to go through the anguish of ‘When am I going to get my next top-up?’” she says. “So much of the mental anguish that they experience is because of the uncertainty in which they’re living. Their detention is indefinite, and they have very little that they can rely on. They’ve all lost faith in people, and who they can and can’t rely on, and this is one service that they’ve really grown to depend on.”

Life in the offshore processing centres is difficult, lacking most of the comforts we take for granted, like hot water and privacy. There is little to do to alleviate the daily boredom that marks life in the camps. On Manus Island, the only mode of transport is a minibus that ferries the detainees to and from town. People start lining up at 5.30am for the 8 o’clock bus, and many miss it because it is too full.

It was a desire to help break that daily tedium that prompted Molenaar to contact detainees in the first place. “I had a friend who was working on Manus Island, and she mentioned to me that some of the guys there were looking to have pen pals… something to keep their minds occupied.” In their letters, Annie’s correspondents wrote of their boredom. When she learned they were interested in things like reading and drawing, she sent them parcels containing e-readers and art supplies.

Gifts for Manus and Nauru started as a small Facebook group of people who, like Annie and the organisation’s founder Ali Murdoch, was sending care packages to asylum seekers. They pooled their resources to reduce postal costs. Their number grew and in 2016 the organisation registered as a charity. While phone credit is their focus for fundraising, they still send parcels. Popular items include sporting goods like runners and skipping ropes, external hard drives filled with movies and TV series, clothes, hats and sunglasses.

The group also sends snacks and vitamins. “They often run out of food in the mess,” she says. “If they’ve got an appointment with a doctor and they’re not around when their food is served, then they just miss out.”

It’s Molenaar’s observation that mental illness is endemic among asylum seekers living offshore. “There’s not one person that I’ve spoken to that hasn’t at some point experienced extreme depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, all of those things.”

A new service offered by Gifts for Manus and Nauru aims to address this problem. If an asylum seeker is believed to be struggling with their mental health, the organisation will refer them to a professional trauma counsellor or psychologist. They can talk to the medical professional by whatever means they decide, says Annie. “If they’re more comfortable communicating via text, through some type of a messenger service, they can do that, or if they would like to speak to them directly via phone, they can do that as well.”

Phone Credit Crowdfund – Dec 7 to Dec 21 2016

Hello,

Here is the link to our December crowdfund for phone credit.
The wait time has reached record length, at 47 days from when people’s month of credit expires to when they get their next top up.

As of 7.12.16 we have 536 people needing to be topped up immediately, and more being added back onto the waiting list each day as their month of credit runs out.
It would be great if we could try to catch up on many of these top ups before Christmas.

Please help us to do some much needed top ups. Donate if you can, and please share.

https://chuffed.org/project/gifts-for-manus-and-nauru-phone-credit4

Phone Credit Crowdfund – October 29 to November 14 2016

Hello everyone.

Our November crowdfund is now up and running.

https://chuffed.org/project/gifts-for-manus-and-nauru-phone-credit3#

A tax receipt is issued automatically when you donate this way.

Please contribute if you can, and please share widely. We know there are more people who care about the people being held offshore in PNG (Manus) and Nauru….but we really need your help to reach them and let them  know there is this way to help.

We’re aiming to raise at least $3000 on the crowdfund by it’s end date of November 14, but more would be awesome.
(total phone credit cost for a month, if each of the 1100 or so people currently on our list is to get a $30-35 top up, exceeds $35,000)

Thank you!

Parcels

There are various ways to contribute to parcels for those on Manus and Nauru.

You can ask for details of a person that you can buy for yourself, which involves buying various needed items depending on the person’s needs, and arranging postage to him/her. (it’s a considerable cost though).

If you cannot afford a whole parcel you can also buy needed items and have them delivered to us to be included in parcels we send.

You can also contribute financially by donating money towards the parcels our group are putting together for people or groups (bank details on the ‘How to Donate’ page). There are always at least several parcels (usually more) on the go needing donations to complete and get sent…and a long list of people waiting for parcels.

If you want to know more please join our Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/groups/1646607628911452/

Or email us at: giftsformanusandnauru@outlook.com.au.