Since 2006 the Karen community here at CHBC has grown from 2 new Karen families to a strong community of 400+ with new families from refugee camps on the Thai/Burma border continuing to find a home here. The Karen Fellowship meets at 1.00pm each Sunday, in the church, to worship together in their own language.
It is a wonderful partnership that continues to enrich CHBC. Reverend Moo Hei is part of the Church Ministry Team and his 20+ years of pastoral experience and wisdom brings much to the Team, particularly around the level of understanding of another culture; one so alive with optimism, richness and depth of faith borne out of their suffering.
The Karen Support team exists to promote the welfare and development of the Karen community in the Maroondah area, working closely with both Agencies and Government Departments. We provide settlement assistance, training and education support, capacity building around health and well-being and seek to link appropriate mentors with the Karen who can help them transition successfully into life in Australia.
Each Tuesday, Esera Maung, our Karen Support Worker is available at the Ministry Centre to assist the Karen, in their own language, with a wide variety of settlement issues, e.g. property rental, bill paying, assistance with medical appointments and providing practical care.
Development & Well-Being
The well-being of our Karen families is at the heart of what we do. We seek to support them holistically in all areas of life including their spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Gitta Clayton works 4 days a week as both our Karen Support Coordinator and Community Engagement Coordinator.
In addition to assisting the Karen into employment through networking, education and training support, we also have a Social Enterprise which employs Karen staff. In 2012, with establishment funding from Baptcare, CHBC commenced a not-for-profit Cleaning Enterprise – Eleven41 – with the aim of providing employment opportunities for the Karen in the Maroondah area. Based on a pilot project of Bendigo Baptist, Eleven41 has grown to become a successful business with both domestic and commercial clients. CHBC now employs 8 Karen staff through Eleven41 and sees this as an opportunity to assist the Karen with a long-term sustainable enterprise which the community can eventually take ownership of and manage.
If you have any questions and would like one of our team to get in touch, please fill out the form below.