Dear UNESCO Council, I would like to fund the language, religion, and culture of Australian Assyrians. Most Assyrians from their homeland aren't provided with schooling to teach them about their culture, due to all of the violence. The Assyrian refugees are settling in Australia into the school of St Hurmizd which provides amazing chances for refugees to succeed. In the past five years, Australia's population of Assyrian Church of the East Christians has grown by more than a third. Therefore, funding to open more schools like St Hurmizd would create outstanding achievement for future Assyrian refugees.
Many Assyrian refugees are fleeing their country due to the violence in their homelands. This leads to the growing number settling in Australia. The only refugee school, St Hurmizd Primary, teaches refugees the Assyrian and English language. They teach Assyrian so they still feel apart of their culture, and English so they will be able to communicate since it's an international language. Many of these children never had schooling in Iraq or Syria, so they aren't able to learn their native language. This school is an amazing chance for Assyrian refugees to be apart of their native language.
In the 15 years since St Hurmizd was founded, the Assyrian primary school in Western Sydney has grown from a cohort of 85 students, to more than 700. Many of the children come from non-English speaking, Assyrian backgrounds. St Hurmizd is the only school in the Western part of the world offering Assyrian language and culture classes. Assyrians are a religious minority in their homeland and are always targeted and prosecuted. Most of these children have never been in touch with schooling before. A staff member since 2002, Ms. Daniel, says, "Some of the students have lost education for our or five years, and this is their first contact with schooling."
The Assyrian primary school St Hurmizd offers classes to more than 700 students with an Assyrian background, many of which from refugee families. The diverse curriculum is set out to help maintain the culture and religion of these kids native language. One of the academic captains, Mr Kennelly mentions, " A current Year 12 student who spent five years in a refugee camp in Lebanon, without schooling, before moving to Australia. "She came to us in the beginning of Year 11, [and has] been with us 18 months," he says. "She is our top student this year. She will get into medicine. "It is an amazing story of determination, and this is what the community's built on — determination, faith, and a common bond."
The Australia Assyrian community continues to grow by the increase of refugees. In the article, Australia's Assyrians in Focus, it states, "Though only representing 0.15% of Australia's overall population, the Assyrian community is vibrant and growing. Its identity is not under threat, not only thanks to new arrivals through Australia's refugee and immigration program, but also thanks to the dynamic nature of the Assyrian church, which serves as a place of faith and worship, as well as an engine of advocacy and social action. The Assyrian community in Australia is clearly here to stay and represents a welcome addition to Australia's multicultural society." This community is growing and will continue to grow with the help of UNESCO.
For years, Assyrians have been victims of oppression by different governments and regimes. In May of 2016, Assyrians gathered to protest to end the Kurdish oppression. In this article, Assyria: Peaceful Protest in Sydney Calls for End of Community's Oppression, it mentions, "Over 500 people descended on Martin Place in a public demonstration organised by the Assyrian Council of Australia. The demonstrators demanded an end to Kurdish aggression in the occupied Assyrian homeland as well as the brutal atrocities currently taking place against the Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria as a whole. The basis of the protest gave strong justification for the unremitting call for the establishment of an Assyrian safe haven under international protection." This Assyrian community is passionate about their misfortunate religion.