Christmas Appeal

Sajad is a young man dedicated to his family and wise beyond his years. Growing up in Afghanistan as a Hazara person, his family has been subject to persecution for as long as he can remember.

In order to look for a better life for his family, Sajad’s dad left Afghanistan by boat before Sajad had reached school age. His mum took the family and fled to Iran, where it was minutely safer. She began working numerous jobs, leaving her with little time to care for the family, and would often go days with only a few hours of sleep. Her health and capabilities were deteriorating, and she rarely was able to spend quality time with Sajad and his siblings. That is, until Sajad turned seven, when he got a job as a plumber’s assistant.

Sajad began to work hard so that his mum no longer had to. She was able to reduce to just one job and together the closely-bonded pair supported the family. Where they lived was dangerous, and it was extremely difficult living as illegal, stateless people. Subject to harassment and racism daily, it was not a happy life. Thankfully, eventually, Sajad’s father made contact to share the news that he was able to bring the family to Australia.

Arriving here in 2015 was extremely daunting, however Sajad is determined to continue to work hard, to succeed, and make his mother proud. He tries incredibly hard at school and is very keen to get a job to contribute to the family. In his spare time he is working on writing a comic book.

Sajad holds a very deep level of respect and care for his mother. He grieves with her loss of a sense of identity and for the role she played in their community. When asked what his greatest achievement in life was, he responded, “being able to finally go to work so that my mother could get some rest, that was my happiest moment.”

At ARA, we work with young people like Sajad to ensure that they have access to all the tools they need in order to live a happy life, having escaped from terrible circumstances, and in many cases severe torture and trauma. ARA’s programs for young people provide assistance through homework clubs, school holiday programs, Youth Ambassador Program, Friday hangout, career counselling, driver’s education, and much, much more. Many of these programs are funded solely through grants and fundraising, and this is why we need your help.

I am writing to you today to ask for your contribution towards assisting exceptional young people to achieve their best. Through your generosity ARA is able to provide a full range of services to ensure we provide a holistic service to our clients.

I thank you for your ongoing support of the crucial work that we do.

Sincerely
Kirsten Bickendorf
Chief Executive Officer

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