There’s nothing more wonderful than the experience of sharing the first few weeks with your new baby. It can also be a very challenging time. Imagine the mixture of emotions Aida was facing as an asylum seeker with little income and a newborn baby! We shared her journey. This is her story.
Aida is an asylum seeker from Ethiopia – a country that’s long been in the grip of political violence, oppressive government and poverty. You may remember the famines that crippled the country in the 1980s. In late 2016, the Ethiopian government declared a six-month state of emergency and enforced curfews, banned social media and increased arbitrary arrests. Aida fled Ethiopia with the hope of finding safety.
Aida had very recently given birth to a healthy baby, but a very difficult birth left her facing a number of health issues. Her body needed time to recover and she had no family to turn to for support. Aida confided that she couldn’t return to her temporary home due to a high risk of domestic violence. As she nursed her newborn, we could see that Aida’s baby brought her great joy, but also vulnerability and a sense of fear.
Aida was suffering physically and emotionally from circumstances beyond her control. She didn’t want to have to leave her home, but no one should live under the threat of domestic violence. She couldn’t have known the impact that the birth would have on her body.
Fortunately for Aida, our specialist team of case workers are trained to support asylum seekers and help them overcome their unique challenges. Our qualified case coordinators used their expertise to connect Aida with accommodation, medical experts, counselling specialists, post-natal care, education and more. We negotiated for experts to help at no cost, others we paid for directly – something only possible because people like you make a donation.
Like many asylum seekers, Aida had little income. Our support team arranged for Aida to receive regular health and hygiene care packages including nappies, vitamins, healthy food and Go Cards for public transport to medical appointments.
Aida came to rely upon her case worker as a central point of support in her journey. She trusted us to help her with her legal documents, English lessons and we’re always glad to see Aida with her baby at our community events. Her smile has returned and our team are proud to be part of her (and her baby’s) journey to safety.
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. 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.