Qasem is a resilient young man who was forced to flee Afghanistan as a child and seek refuge along with his family. Prior to this, his father spoke about his hope for one of his children to become a pilot, but as the family was forced to escape the Taliban by crossing into Pakistan, this dream seemed unlikely to be realised.
However, Qasem remained determined and has pursued his dreams in the face of adversity.
Qasem lost both of his parents when he was just 7. Hope appeared when one of his missing brothers made it to Australia and sponsored the rest of the family to join him. With almost no English, Qasem seized every opportunity available to learn, grow and contribute to Australian society.
Qasem is now 18 and in his second year of a Bachelor of Aviation; well on his way to achieving his dream of becoming a pilot. This reality is a world away from the one he escaped as a refugee from Afghanistan. His passion, commitment and hard work in fulfilling his childhood dream, for both himself and his late father, inspires everyone who comes into contact with him.
The Australian Refugee Association (ARA) helped Qasem achieve his goals through Homework Clubs, which he attended multiple times per week. ARA Homework Clubs give high school students with a refugee background a learning environment where they can access individual assistance and specialised tutoring, allowing them to achieve the best possible results from their high school years. Many previous attendees, like Qasem, have gone onto university and equate much of their success to the assistance provided to them at Homework Club.
Since completing high school Qasem now volunteers for ARA as a Youth Ambassador and general volunteer. Qasem enjoys giving back to the organisation that walked alongside him throughout his high school years and who assisted him to be on the path to realising his dreams.
We Need Your Help
Many of the services provided by ARA lack ongoing funding. Without the generous donations we receive we would be unable to provide a full range of settlement services, required for new arrivals to realise their full potential. Meeting the needs of people from refugee backgrounds continues to be challenging, but the reward of seeing them overcome the odds and take their place in Australian life is more than enough compensation. ARA takes great pleasure in providing high quality services to help refugees and transform lives, assisting them to become an integral part of our thriving, prosperous community.