When we started organising parcels to go to Nauru, we had lots of questions and we’re sure you do too! Here are some FAQs to help out. If your question isn’t answered here, please contact us.
Q: I’ve heard that guards intercept all the parcels and items don’t get to the detainees. How do you know this won’t happen to the items we send?
Great question! Yes there have been some problems in the past when mail has been sent into the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru (although all the advice we’ve received says most food parcels, as long as they adhere to centre requirements, do make it in).
However we are actually sending our parcels direct to a contact on Nauru outside the centre. This means the only rules we need to adhere to are local customs. It also means they are not touched by centre guards at all.
The Nauru Regional Processing Centre is currently ‘open’ (as of October 2015) as this means detainees can leave the centre during the day, so they will be able to access all the food and nutritional items we send over from outside the centre.
They also then have the choice of what items they take back inside the centre. We leave this at their discretion.
Q: Why don’t they just buy food over there?
Unfortunately options for nutritious food for the refugee and asylum seekers to purchase are very limited. We’ve heard that much of the food available for purchase is expired or of poor quality. It can also be quite expensive and most of the refugees and asylum seekers have little or no funds.
The lack of access to nutritious items is why they are requesting things like protein powders, sustagen, etc, to help balance out nutrition, particularly for the children on Nauru.
Q: If I give you money, what is the money spent on?
Money donated will be used to cover postage costs where required, customs/import duties, and/or to purchase goods to go in the parcels to Nauru.
Q: Does food need to be halal?
We asked our contacts on Nauru whether there was a preference for halal or other types of food. She assured us that due to the nature of the situation, “there is no differences between halal or Haram just we want food with vitamins and protein and good nutrition.”
Q: Can you send me some pictures of the parcels being received?
While we will try to post as much feedback as we can, including pictures, on this site and on our Facebook page. However we do also need to respect and protect the anonymity of those on Nauru, due to their status as refugees and asylum seekers. We do not want to put them in any danger (especially if their claims are rejected, or for some reason they return back to their country of origin). So it’s unlikely you’ll see any pictures of kids wearing clothes we’ve sent, etc, but we will do our best to show you how donations are being used.
Q: Is it really economical to post things to you, for you to send to Nauru? Can’t I just send it straight to Nauru myself?
Regular AusPost to Nauru is very expensive. At this stage it seems to be more economical to spend a little on domestic freight, and then to have the items combined in a large parcel to go to Nauru. We are working closely with a shipping company based in Brisbane that is offering a variety of free, and very low-cost, freight to Nauru. However if you want to reduce costs further, you can donate money and we will purchase goods locally to go in the parcels.