Each school holidays the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown offers Kids Giving Back some lunch slots for families to make and serve lunches to clients. We love our relationship with the ASC for many reasons – the obvious one being for the important and compassionate work they are doing. The other is that by offering this opportunity to families we get to involve kids of all ages – from the very young to teens – and of course their parents. Gigi (14) together with her brother Turner (17) and mum Heather recently made and served up delicious, nutritious lunches for around 25 asylum seekers. Gigi shares their experience:

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“During the school holidays my brother, mum and I went and served lunch at the Asylum Seeker’s Centre in Newtown. I found the experience interesting as I didn’t realise that the asylum seekers granted asylum couldn’t get jobs until after they’d been in Australia five years and that for a lot of them the lunch we served was the only meal they got for the day. The centre itself had many interesting components such as the ‘shop’ which gave out non-perishable food to the asylum seekers on a weekly basis. I also looked at the activities the centre offered to ASC families and found swimming to be one of them. I personally have found swimming to be an integral part of the culture in Australia and am constantly astounded by the number of places where people don’t know how to swim and have no need for the skill. I think it’s great that the ASC is trying to help asylum seekers integrate into Australian life while respecting the cultures they came from.  Overall, I found the experience rewarding and eye-opening as I hadn’t given much thought previously to the people who come to Australia to seek asylum. I appreciate how the ASC helps people to be immersed and enter the Australian culture while still respecting their values and beliefs.”