We take newly arrived youth from refugee backgrounds on overnight hiking and camping adventures to make them feel more at home in their new country. We want them to feel more connected to the land, the people, the culture and the history of their new country and wish to extend the hand of welcome we feel they deserve.
First Hike Project Inc. is completely volunteer run at a state level with just one employee running the organisation nationally. Our group in Sydney has three volunteer coordinators who create our events and then we have an army of volunteers who chip in and get all the jobs done before the big day. We take 8 of them on the event to take care of our participants and have some first aid trained in case of emergencies which can happen in the outdoors settings.
Our events are always in wilderness areas close to the city and go from early Saturday morning until late afternoon Sunday. The participants don't need anything to attend as our events are completely free for them so we transport them, feed them, house them in tents and sleeping bags and then bring them back safely the next day. They will experience the activity of hiking and camping sometimes for the first time and during that time will see all the animals, birds and fauna out there for the first time too. It's amazing to watch the transformation that happens to them over this relatively short period of time as time spent in nature works its magic on them.
Funded by Sydney (November 2021)