Featured Story

Creating a Community Garden for Refugee Families



The Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) which assists refugees, needed some help to prepare a large community garden plot as an on-going therapeutic initiative for its clients.   

A group of young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from several Brisbane congregations responded to the need, lending a hand on a sunny Saturday morning on 18th March.

Two young Latter-day Saint women, also members of QPASTT, helped bring other volunteers together to do the work. They obtained a small funding grant from Brisbane City Council to initiate the refugee community garden project.

The first step of the project required over 40 energetic workers to reclaim an existing garden space of around 100 square metres that had become overgrown with weeds. With tools supplied by local Latter-day Saints, volunteers from the Church's River Terrace congregation and Cleveland Stake (similar to a diocese) donated their time and enthusiasm to the clean-up project.

Prior to the event and due to an extended period without rain, the organizers were concerned that the ground would be too hard to work.  A small miracle occurred and heavy rain fell on the area for two days prior to the planned service, making the ground softer and the task much easier for the workers. In addition, the rain stopped on the morning of the project enabling them to complete the preparation for the garden.

After the service project concluded the QPASTT services manager, Mrs Vicki Pastellas, thanked the young volunteers.

"This garden initiative will help many of our refugee families who come to Australia from very difficult and challenging environments," Mrs Pastellas said.

"Planting and tending this garden will provide them with a meaningful therapeutic outlet."

All those involved left with a greater appreciation for the good that arises from doing small deeds for others.


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