Moving to the United States gives you an amazing opportunity to build a new life and be free of Manus Island or Nauru. But it can also be difficult. You are in a new country, in a strange city, and you may be very far from your friends and family.
‘Ads-Up’ is a group of Australians living in the United States who want to help welcome you to your new home.
Refugees from Manus and Nauru have told us that sometimes it is difficult to make new friends or that it can be hard to find a job. Some refugees have said they feel very alone, especially if they did not move to a city with other refugees.
We want you to know that you are not alone, and that we are here to help.
Please email us or send us a message on Facebook to let us know which city you are living in. When we know that, we can start to help.
How can ‘Ads-Up’ help?
We have a network of hundreds of Australian volunteers living in cities around America who want to welcome new refugees from Manus and Nauru.
They are Australians who know what you have been through, and they know what its like to start a new life in the USA – they are immigrants here themselves.
We will arrange for you to meet an Australian supporter in your city who will be able to answer questions about America and how to find work.
They might also be able to help you write a resume, study for your driver’s license, or practice your English. Some Australians will have good ideas about where you can look for work, or local community groups you can join to meet other refugees and immigrants.
We hope they will be a useful new friend in your new city.
What if I need urgent help?
Sometimes life can be difficult in America, especially for new refugees.
We have helped refugees who haven’t had enough money to pay for food or for rent
We have sent second-hand laptops to refugees to help them look for work and learn english
We have helped refugees who haven’t been able to find a job or who have nowhere to sleep
We helped refugees who have needed someone to talk to, or who have been suffering from depression
We have helped refugees who haven't been able to pay for dentists or other healthcare
If you are stressed about an emergency situation, please send us an email we will try to help.
We rely on volunteers and donations, which sometimes limits us on how much help we can provide. However, we will do our best to offer material assistance when it's needed and will always try our best to connect you with local support services in an emergency situation.
What about my caseworker?
When you arrive in America, you will be met at the airport by a caseworker from a refugee resettlement agency. They will take you to your new accommodation and help you get identification.
Your refugee caseworker is paid by the American Government to give you three months of support. They are supposed to answer questions you may have, connect you with friends and community groups, and help you find a job.
If you have any questions or need any help or advice, you should always ask your caseworker – even if you ask us as well. They are being paid to help you.
Many caseworkers are very helpful. However, Some refugees have told us that their caseworker has not been helpful and has ignored them.
Please tell us if this has happened to you and we can try to help.
I am still in Nauru or Manus and I need help
We have spoken to many refugees on Manus and Nauru and we know how frustrating it can be to wait for news about a transfer to America. It is a slow process and communication is often unclear.
On Manus and Nauru the process is handled by the American government and, unfortunately, we have no control over the situation.
But, if you are on Manus Island or Nauru and you do need help, there are a number of groups who may be able to help you.