Many people live in countries where simply belonging to an ethnic minority means discrimination, persecution and ongoing harassment. When political landscapes shift and authorities are unwilling to provide safety – the only choice is to flee and seek asylum in another country. We met Yadu six years after his journey began and the impact on his physical health was extreme. This is his story.
Fearing for his life, Yadu fled his home in Sri Lanka to seek safety in Australia. Being of Tamil identity and living in Sri Lanka, Yadu’s life included many experiences of extreme systemic discrimination and severe trauma. For many decades now, thousands of Tamils have been fleeing Sri Lanka to seek asylum and safety outside their home.
To make the difficult journey to seek safety in Australia, Yadu had to sell all of his possessions and like many others, he crossed the sea and arrived in Australia by boat. He knew that the journey was risky and that he needed to do it alone. He ensured that his loved ones were transported to a safe place and said goodbye to his wife and daughter not knowing when and if he would see them ever again.
Yadu arrived in Australia in 2011. Having been through traumatic experiences, Yadu developed complex mental and physical health issues. He experienced social isolation, grief and high levels of stress while facing an uncertain future regarding his asylum in Australia. Yadu was then diagnosed with brain cancer which further affected his health and emotional wellbeing.
The limited income support he was receiving often didn’t meet his basic needs, and he continued to worry about his wife and daughter who had sought refuge in India but had no access to support.
Yadu’s uncertainty regarding his asylum continued until recently when he was informed that he did not have to return to his country. While this was life-changing news for him, he still faces an intensive health battle and needs ongoing support for his journey towards mental health recovery.
Our case coordinators at Romero Centre were there for Yadu when he needed assistance most. Yadu received weekly packages of basic food and hygiene items. We also provided Yadu with transport cards to enable him to attend crucial medical appointments.
Thanks to the generosity of people in our community, we were able to provide Yadu with exercise equipment so he can improve his physical strength. Yadu also attends Romero Centre’s Men’s Group and he has expressed his satisfaction at being a part of this supportive group, which reduces his social isolation and improves his emotional wellbeing.
While the future is still uncertain for Yadu as he remains separated from his family and deals with a significant health condition, positive steps have been made to ensure Yadu is connected to the right support and feels welcomed in the community.
With your support, we can continue to provide support and create a sense of belonging for people like Yadu. Your donation can give hope to people seeking a safe and healthy life in our community.
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.
A small act from you can make a big impact on the lives of people seeking asylum.