Help Sabah, Amir & Mara achieve their dreams

Help Sabah, Amir & Mara achieve their dreams

Like everyone, refugees have their dreams.

Right now, the Emergency Support Service is a lifeline for three courageous people in particular. Their plight, and their dreams for a better life, are told in this post.

Sabah, a young mother, dreams of being a fashion designer. She is held back by domestic violence from an abusive partner.
Amir, in his early 30s, dreams of selling brewed coffee from his own pop-up van. He is traumatised after fleeing persecution and living eight years in detention.
Mara, a mother with two little girls, dreams of independence and her own car. Our supporters helped her escape domestic violence when they donated to ARA’s first Emergency Support Service appeal last March.
Mara is still fearful. But despite her struggles, Mara has another dream. She wants to become a support worker and help other women in desperate need.

Women like Sabah.


A daily struggle with abuse
Sabah has no family in Australia, arriving here on a spousal visa. Her partner is controlling, abusing her verbally, financially and emotionally. He is a problem gambler who refuses help.

So, Sabah and her kids, Yacoub, 3 and baby, Inaya, often have no money for food and bills.

But Sabah is a strong woman. She’s working toward her driver’s licence and studying English. And dreaming of a career in fashion.

It is a long, hard road. For Sabah, home violence is a trap she is desperate to escape from. Urgent support from ARA is essential.

Will you help people like Sabah, Amir and Mara achieve their dreams?


Amir, no fixed abode, Adelaide
That was the address of Amir. Earlier this year, home was his car.’

Amir would drive to a new location every evening. He couldn’t stop anywhere for too long. Neighbours and local councils didn’t want anyone sleeping in a car.

And no fixed address made it even harder for Amir to find a job.

For Amir, the nightmare of fleeing home, family, friends and everything he knew, goes on. As one of 74 ‘boat people’ he began life in Australia in an offshore detention centre. After eight long years seeking freedom, he is deeply traumatised.

COVID-19 hit hard just at the time he came to Adelaide seeking a job and a better life.

You may remember reading about Amir in our Christmas appeal last year. Thanks to our generous supporters, we were able to give him urgent help via the Emergency Support Service. We connected him with a compassionate host family and helped him secure a job in a local cafe. He felt peace.

But there are no magic wands for ongoing trauma.

Abruptly, Amir left his home and job. No one could contact him. He was sleeping in his car, plagued by visions and nightmares. He suffered extreme anxiety and depression.

Amir’s case worker kept reaching out to him, until one day he responded. She was shocked when she saw him. He had no money for food, he had lost weight, he was not lucid.

The Emergency Support Service allowed his case worker the freedom and funds to swing into action. She escalated his mental health care and reconnected Amir with his host family, who were gravely worried about him. He moved back into their home and recommenced therapy for complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

Now, Amir is calmer, hopeful again. His case worker sourced an electronic tablet for Amir to draw the characters and visions he sees. He is exorcising some of his pain through art.

Is there adequate support for people like Amir suffering this level of trauma?

Quite simply, no. The level of care needed for courageous people like Amir goes beyond government funded relief.

With help from donations to our Emergency Support Service, ARA offers Amir the support he needs, when he needs it. Our work in the community would simply not be possible without your on-going support.

The reality is that the road to recovery is long, slow, and there are setbacks. Yet, despite everything, Amir has the passion to change. He refuses to give up.


I cry all the time. I cannot sleep. What can I do? Please help me.
This was Mara’s plea when she sought escape from domestic violence, as COVID-19 broke out just over a year ago.

Mara’s home was unsafe. She lived in fear every day, desperate to protect her two little girls, Alima, now 10, and Soraya, now 6, who has a terminal medical condition and needs ongoing support.

In March last year, Mara’s story touched our hearts as we’re sure it did yours. Thanks to the kind response to her story, we were able to set up the Emergency Support Service. As a result, we now offer emergency help for people in desperate need who don’t “tick the boxes” of government funded programs.

Today, Mara and her girls are in a new home. Mara is taking driving lessons and studies English at TAFE. The children are happy at school, and Soraya loves playing the keyboard donated by a generous supporter.

Mara still struggles with the impact of domestic violence. But she also wants to help other women desperate to escape the same situation.

Women like Sabah and her children, Yacoub, 3 and baby Inaya.
Like Mara, Sabah is desperate to flee from controlling, abusive domestic violence.

Sabah has no other family in Australia. Her partner’s gambling habit means there’s often no money for food or utilities.

Can you please help Sabah and her children escape their nightmare?

As Mara and Amir’s stories show, you can make a big difference in helping someone achieve their dream, step by step.

Thank you!

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