Emergency relief is being provided to hundreds of international students in Darwin who are experiencing financial hardship through the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year Charles Darwin University (CDU) has provided more than 3,600 emergency student food parcels over a 14-week period to international students that have been struggling.
To show support to those impacted, CDU recently held a special student community event connecting students to key services while raising much-needed funds for the people of India.
The current global pandemic situation has particularly impacted the Indian subcontinent region, with more than 25 million COVID-19 cases recorded, which has affected many CDU students, colleagues, and their friends and family overseas.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman AO attended the event alongside Indian community leaders, CDU students and staff and said the university has strong links with India, with many students or staff having family origins in India.
“We are all aware of the devastating COVID-19 situation in India, and our hearts go out to all of those who are directly and indirectly impacted within our community and beyond,” Professor Bowman said.
“CDU has almost 350 international students from India, with some of those currently in India studying online, due to travel restrictions.”
“We know that many of our students and staff been impacted by what is happening in India. It is important that we come together and show our support for all of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis.”
CDU Lecturer Information Technology Bharanidharan Shanmugam said while many students had been struggling with news from India, the student community was well supported.
"The student community is incredibly resilient they’ve benefited from the support CDU has offered to those who have been impacted from COVID-19,” Mr Shanmugam said.
“In the height of the pandemic CDU quickly released a range of support packages to assist our international student community, showing the university’s commitment and care towards wider student community."
CDU’s International Student Support and Counselling teams are available to assist students who may need support. All students can receive free and confidential counselling services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Food parcels were provided to international students last month, made possible through the generous support of the Charles Darwin University Foundation, Newmont Australia, and Foodbank NT.
CDU is raising funds for the OXFAM India COVID-19 appeal, donate by visiting the CDU website.