Somos21 Pandemic Relief for International Students Evaluation Update

Jun 18, 2020




In just one month, Somos21’s Pandemic Relief for International Students has raised the equivalent of more than 200 weeks’ worth of groceries in the form of e-vouchers for the most vulnerable of Latin American students in our country. Currently sitting at $10,790 of the $30,000 fundraising goal, the project is seeking further donations and public support as we continue to identify critical cases of students and dependents that require our assistance.

Despite some assistance from state governments, thousands of international students, and temporary visa holders in Australia are being left to battle the COVID-19 crisis without sufficient support. Surveys in March 2020 from Unions NSW and The Victorian Migrant Workers Centre revealed, from more than 8000 entrees, that 98.7% of temporary migrants were receiving no government income support - 72% of which were international students and 43% of whom admitted to regularly skipping meals to survive the current crisis. 

307 students have applied for relief since the project’s inception and thus far, Somos21 has successfully supported 205 - 14 of whom are also supporting children or other dependents themselves. Every applicant is required to send current visa papers and other documents for verification prior to receiving their e-vouchers. The project adheres to these strict eligibility criteria - all applicants are assessed case by case and prioritised to ensure the vouchers reach those most vulnerable. These include:

  • International students with family dependents 

  • International students with limited English skills and an inability to access other support services

  • International students studying ELICOS Courses (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students)

  • International students with physical or mental health issues

  • International students who have no job or income

  • International students located in states that are not providing financial support.

100% of the donations go towards delivering e-vouchers to Latin American students in need across the country. 


Somos21 is now also partnering with Rotary E-Club of Western Australia (E-WA Rotary) and Rotary Australia World Community Service to enable tax-deductible donation receipts- the first $15,000 of which will be matched by the Rotary Australia Compassionate Grant, doubling the commitment to $30,000.

Providing the success of the fundraiser, Somos21 also hopes to offer rental assistance to those under the heaviest financial burden. Many of these students are without income and, according to several testimonies, many are still being refused rental reductions. 

Your generosity has never been more urgently needed- with Latin America the world's new COVID-19 epicenter, these students and migrants are set to remain on our shores for the foreseeable future. Join us in supporting them before June 30, ensuring your donation is matched by RAWCS, doubling your impact on the lives of these struggling students. 


Rotary Donations Link:
Mycause Campaign Page:

Pandemic Relief for International Students Press release:
Initial campaign promotion piece:
Video promotion:
Somos21 COVID-19 Support Group:



“Thanks Somos21 and everyone involved in the support of e- Gift Cards, it's a relief for all the ones who really need this help. I am super happy to not worry this week about my food.” Gabriela, Brisbane

“Thanks to everyone at Somos21 for the grocery voucher! It has helped to buy t$oiletries and formula for my baby.”
Stefany, Brisbane

“Thank you for your kind and helpful donation. We are experiencing a lot of difficulties due to the global economic crisis. This voucher will help us a lot.”
Cristina, Sydney

“These e-vouchers allow us to buy stuff that in these situations we can not afford, like panela, chocolate, ginger and even vitamins that help us to pass our first winter far from home. Buying coffee made us so happy, you don't know how we had missed it !!! “
Juan and Diana, Melbourne

“Today we were fortunate to buy our food at Woolworths, thanks to you. It was a great help at this time.  Thank you to all the kind-hearted people who donated. Together we are more!”
Nathaly Ceballos

If you have any questions or require more information please email us at

Together, let us ease the burden of the few, with the generosity of the many.
Let us ensure that there are #noneleftbehind

In partnership with:



To engage in helping and supporting our Latin American community impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, seek or share information, events, news, forums, and critical connection and collaboration opportunities during this time of mass isolation, join our community at COVID-19 Support Group.

Not yet a member? Get connected and be inspired by more incredible Latin American and Australian professionals. Join the growing Somos21 Community.

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