The Give Hope Winter Appeal: How you have made a difference
The Give Hope Winter Voucher Appeal is in its final weeks and members of the Synod and the wider community are encouraged to get involved and show their compassion by sending in a gift card or voucher by the end of August. The appeal, organised by the Social Justice Forum, is about providing essential practical support for refugees and people seeking asylum who are living in the community in incredibly difficult circumstances. Read the stories below to meet some of the individuals* whose lives have been changed by Give Hope appeals and to see how your generosity can really make a difference.
Mathu and Suthan
Mathu fled Sri Lanka with his wife Suthan and their four children and made the difficult journey to Australia by boat. After being released from Immigration Detention into the community, Mathu and Suthan tried hard to adapt to the new culture whilst also trying to deal with existing trauma from their home country. But, difficult financial circumstances made it hard, especially for their eldest two daughters who weren’t able to participate in fun school activities. Thanks to a Give Hope appeal, the family’s caseworker was able to give them a few movie vouchers so they could enjoy a fun, carefree evening, allowing them to relax and bond as a family.
Sara was heavily pregnant with her one-year-old son Ratib, and already a mother to nine-year-old Layla, when she arrived in Australia with her husband after leaving Iraq. However, once in Australia Sara had to flee her home to escape domestic violence. Luckily, Sara’s caseworker was able to secure emergency housing for her and her children and provide some vouchers that were donated through a Give Hope appeal. Sara was able to buy essential items, such as food, toiletries and clothes for her kids, which helped her get by until she was able to receive further assistance.
Noor and Syed
Noor and Syed fled Myanmar and came to Australia seeking asylum with their two children, four-year-old Maya and two-year-old Than. Tragically, their son drowned at sea on the journey to when their boat sank. Noor and Syed try to deal with their grief as best they can and work hard to make a decent living. However they feel guilty that they’re not able to provide more for Maya and wish they could bring more joy and happiness to her life. This year their caseworker gave them a voucher, from a Give Hope Appeal, just in time for Maya’s birthday. Noor and Syed were so excited to be able to properly celebrate her birthday and pick a special gift for their daughter.
Abdi is from South Sudan but fled to Kenya with his family to escape civil war and grew up in a refugee camp. At fourteen years old he made the journey to Australia to seek asylum and build a better life. He arrived in Australia as an unaccompanied minor and was lucky to find somewhere to live and be enrolled in school. He puts most of his money towards rent, food and school supplies but also sends money to his mum and siblings who are still in the refugee camp. Abdi suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and often has nightmares from the violence he witnessed in Sudan. He was happy when his caseworker gave him a voucher to go bowling with a few friends. His caseworker also gave him a supermarket voucher, donated by Give Hope, which helped him afford groceries for a fortnight.
*Names of individuals have been changed to protect their privacy
To read the full stories visit the Give Hope website