There is often discussion about defining the ‘hardest thing about being an asylum seeker’. Everyone agrees that trying to find food and accommodation with little, or no money are the most immediate challenges. Beyond these basic human needs, you could probably imagine the sadness of isolation – no family or friends and nowhere to turn for support. When we met Tran he felt desperate, confused and ready to give up on himself. He shared his journey with the team at the Romero Centre. This is his story.
Tran fled his home in the Middle East to find safety and to live in a country where human rights are respected. The countries of the Middle East have a long history of armed conflicts, human rights violations, excessive punishments and intolerance for personal freedoms. Tran was terrified by the prospect of returning, confused by legal aspects – and it was clear he had been through a lot to get to this point. He needed to find a safe place, and a place to call home.
Tran had recently received official notice from the Department of Immigration that his application for asylum had been rejected. It was a breaking point for Tran. He told us that he “just wanted to die”. He was emotionally exhausted and confused by the complicated legal processes and forms. His hopes for safety and refuge were crushed.
It’s not unusual for asylum seekers to have their application rejected. Often it is due to incomplete (or incorrectly completed) documents and errors. Legal processes must be followed carefully but with limited English skills, it can be hard to understand the forms. You can help make it easier for asylum seekers. Make a donation today.
Tran still had a chance to appeal the decision, but needed to act quickly and correctly. He needed expertise that he could neither afford nor find for himself. His savings had run out, he was not allowed to work (during appeal) and wasn’t eligible for income support or free healthcare.
Tran needed urgent counselling to help him process the impact of his emotions, and legal expertise to begin the official appeal process. Our specialist case coordinators developed an action plan to get Tran back on a positive path for both his appeal and his mental health.
We connected Tran with counselling to help him process the tidal wave of emotions he was experiencing. Our legal experts reviewed his application and facilitated conversations with other experts to help Tran submit his appeal correctly. Tran also participated in community events and received regular care packages of food, health and hygiene products during his appeal process.
The support we provide is only available because people like you choose to make a donation in support of asylum seekers. Tran’s courage returned and he will keep seeking human rights and protection from harm.
Everyone has the right to feel safe, supported and welcome in the community. Become a Romero Hero by donating today to help our specialists at the Romero Centre provide much needed case 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, and we need you.
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.