On the 27th of September 2012, RRAN’s Dictionaries for Refugees program was handed over to Amnesty International Australia under the name Dictionaries for Asylum Seekers. It is time for this little project to grow up and leave it’s home at RRAN and we encourage everyone to support it as it moves to Amnesty.

RRAN started raising money and delivering bilingual dictionaries to people in detention following our visits with families detained at the Leonora detention centre in January 2010. The program was a massive success delivering hundreds of dictionaries to people in detention centres across the country. It allowed us to be introduced to new people in detention, maintain on-going contact with them and learn the truth about the realities of Australia’s Immigration detention system. More importantly it helped demonstrate to refugees that in a world which continually tells them they have no place there are in fact many people in the community who care about them, who are fighting for their rights and working to welcome them to their new home. The gratitude we’ve received from people in detention has been very moving.

Unfortunately as a small group of volunteers with limited funds and resources we at RRAN are no longer able to keep up with the ever increasing demand for dictionaries (building a grass-roots, community movement to challenge the policy of mandatory detention is already a full-time job). So rather than leave people waiting or disappointed at missing out we approached Amnesty in the hope that with their profile and greater access to resources they would be able to raise the necessary funds to deliver dictionaries to everyone who needed one. Thankfully Amnesty International Australia have agreed to take on the Dictionaries for Refugees project and will enable this project to become even more successful.

D4R, as we like to call it, is a project we care about deeply and one people should continue to support, however from this point people should donate to the Amnesty dictionary program as they will now be the primary purchaser of dictionaries. We would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated and supported the project.