People who are fleeing from dangerous countries are trying to escape persecution and need safety. It’s as simple as that. But for hundreds of people in the Brisbane area, their life is anything but simple – it’s complicated and frightening. We met Abida, who is affected by the recent changes in process and now faces an even more uncertain future. This is her story.
While 25 year old Abida had no real idea of what life was like in Australia, she knew that it could only be better than where she had come from and what she had experienced. Abida was seeking a safer life. After leaving Iran, she spent over two years in Naura and then six months in the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation where she was transferred so she could receive attention for health needs. She was isolated, uncertain about her future, and needed support.
A few months ago Abida was pleased to be able to live in the community (in community detention) and walk around freely through the streets of Brisbane. She made every effort to learn about Australia’s culture, the English language, and to make connections with other people.
Abida’s said her greatest wish was “to be outside the bars and to be able to walk freely through Australian streets”.
She was recently informed her income support had been stopped, and she had to vacate her current accommodation within a few weeks. So while Abida has a bridging visa and the right to work, she cannot access education that will enable her to be skilled for employment. Abida arrived in Australia by boat, so she will never be granted the right to settle here. Without an income, Abida could no longer meet her basic needs. She was facing homelessness, with only an uncertain future ahead of her.
When Abida came to the Romero Centre, we took the time to understand her journey. We provided support for her immediate basic needs – food and hygiene, shopping vouchers and transport cards. Our case coordinator also linked her with another support service to facilitate more stable accommodation. There is a plan in place to ensure Abida receives a fair-go and can access the right support. With your help we can continue to provide the right support, including English lessons, emergency needs, community events, legal support connections and access to trauma counselling.
Everyone has the right to feel safe, supported and welcome in the community. Become a Romero Hero by donating today to help the specialists at the Romero Centre provide much needed support. Show you welcome the children, families and individuals seeking asylum in Australia. The journey of an asylum seeker is complicated and challenging but a simple act from you can help make it easier. Make a donation or organise to fundraise for us today. They need us. We need you.
A small act from you can make a big impact on the lives of people seeking asylum.
The Romero Centre is one of the ways that Mercy Community Services is helping build a world where people, families and communities are strong in spirit, healthy and connected.