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Australia’s Karenni refugees cultivate community through Wollongong farming initiative

The Karenni farmers grow traditional foods such as taplaelay, a leafy green vegetable. (Landline: Sean Murphy)

Developing small farms on unused land in urban areas could help alleviate chronic unemployment for refugees resettled in Australia.

By Sean Murphy
Aug 25, 2017


Only 31 per cent of humanitarian visa recipients have jobs after five years, but many have skills as subsistence farmers, which could turn unproductive land into market gardens.

At Mangerton in Wollongong, Karenni refugees are transforming a steep hillside next to the Saint Therese Primary School, into a traditional terraced garden.

According to University of Wollongong geographer Ananth Gopal, community gardens could help refugees avoid the sort of isolation that comes with long-term unemployment.

“Growing food is a way out of the loneliness and isolation that besets loads of refugee communities, especially women feel that sense of isolation,” he said.

Read the complete article here.

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