With more than 57,000 charities in Australia, there are thousands of fantastic stories about the impact charities have on their community.
We recently spoke with registered charity Pushing Barriers Inc about their work, the ultimate goal of their charity and the biggest challenge so far.
What does your charity do?
Pushing Barriers is a not-for-profit association with the primary objective being to advance and improve the lives and welfare of refugee youth by providing them with opportunities and funding to be included and welcomed into Australian culture and society through sport. Pushing Barriers runs sports clinics to introduce the children to sports played in Australia. Pushing Barriers pays for the club fees and through volunteer drivers, transports the children to training and matches.
What is the ultimate goal for your charity - what do you want to achieve?
We are proud to support 52 children. We have many children on our waiting list. We would like to support double this number of children for the next sporting season. Ultimately we would like to grow our charity and have more referrals come through to us to assist refugees and asylum seekers in the settlement process. We would like to increase community awareness of what we do and also to increase community involvement in our charity. We would like to increase our volunteer base. Volunteers are the backbone of our charity.
What is the biggest challenge faced by your charity?
A major challenge is finding funds to pay for the club fees and sporting equipment. We were fortunate to receive two grants last year (one from the Queensland government and another from the Australian Sports Foundation). We are very grateful to our generous donors. Another challenge is finding volunteers to drive our children to training and games. We have a dedicated team of regular drivers. They are the backbone of our charity and our charity wouldn’t survive without their generous donation of time. Another challenge we sometimes face is language barriers. We overcome this by seeking help from local community members, schools and other refugee families in the community.
What is the most exciting development from your charity recently?
We are proud to now support 52 players registered across 15 clubs playing netball, football and basketball throughout Brisbane. We have made a significant effort to encourage young refugee women to get active. Achieving this goal has been one of our greatest successes so far this year.
What steps does your charity take to ensure it is transparent and accountable?
We have regular monthly meetings. We also have an annual general meeting where we are financially audited by an outside company. We have a duty of care towards our children and in keeping with that we have various policies aimed at good governance and protection of the children under our care. All our volunteers are interviewed to ensure a good fit with our charity and its values. All our volunteers have a valid drivers license and blue card.