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Antibes' Australians plan bushfire victims' fundraiser

Event in January will raise funds for charities supporting Australia's firefighters, animals, and affected communities

The Australian community and local businesses in the Antibes are putting on a SAVE AUSTRALIA DAY to raise money for bushfire victims in their home country.

Their event on January 25, from 14:00 to midnight, will have entertainment for all age groups including fun activities for children and a raffle with an auction of donated prizes to benefit Australia-based charities working with victims and firefighters.

Five charities have been chosen to benefit from the fundraising campaign in Antibes.

Two are to support firefighters, one for wildlife, one for rebuilding rural communities and one for a Save the Children initiative, creating Child Friendly Spaces in bushfire-affected regions where children can draw, play and socialise, supported by dedicated staff trained in helping children in crisis.

There is a strong Australian community in Antibes, and Linda Blochet, who has lived in the south of France for more than 15 years and organises the annual ANZAC Day in Antibes, support for this new event is rising every day: “Expatriate Australians, the world over, are feeling frustration and increasing hopelessness as they scroll past image after image of devastation and suffering.

“Here in Antibes, we are hoping to bring the large and socially active expat community together by creating a positive response to the unfolding catastrophe back home.”

Huge bushfires have been burning across a massive area of south-east Australia since September. Eight million hectares (80,000 km²) is on fire, more than double the surface of Belgium, and three times larger than the 25,000 km² destroyed in the Amazon last summer. Almost 2,000 houses have been destroyed, and more than 500 million animals killed.

The long-term mental health of communities, particularly for children is now considered an important issue of concern.

The SAVE AUSTRALIA DAY organisers say there are also reports of funding cuts to National Parks and Firefighting Services and that some volunteer firefighters have had to resort to crowdfunding to pay for essential safety equipment.

Summer in Australia is far from over and organisers say it is possible that these devastating fires will not be extinguished soon.

Anyone who wishes to contribute with either raffle prizes or money or want more details about SAVE AUSTRALIA DAY at the Duke pub, 3, Avenue Niquet, Antibes, can contact Linda Blochet – Tel: 06 89 87 621 33
Andy Colgan – Tel: 06 27 16 13 05

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