The theme for Refugee Week 2023 is Finding Freedom: To live without the fear of war, to have your basic human rights upheld, to live in equality and without the fear of persecution are just some of the examples of how freedom can find expression. Everyday millions of people across the world embark on dangerous journeys for the sole purpose of finding safety and freedom. From Australia to nations across the globe, settling into a new environment after experiencing the perils of a refugee’s journey can also provide the opportunity to live, to love and to dream. Refugee Week 2023 Theme: Finding Freedom - Refugee Week
In 2019, a sibling group of 5 arrived in Australia unaccompanied and into the care of the Marist180 Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minors (UHM) program. With no obvious knowledge of Australian life, and limited English-speaking skills, these clients were able to successfully settle into one of the houses provided by Marist180. These clients, supported by the Marist180 care team, were able to attend an Intensive English Class (IEC), and, fast forward one year later, see one enrol into TAFE to complete their Certificate 4 in Disability Support, where they were finally able to secure a source of permanent employment and a satisfactory income. This client now continues working hard supporting the community in a caring capacity role, and to ensure their siblings remaining in care will always have a roof over their head upon exiting care, and a bright future ahead of them. This client’s story is one of several success stories which we in the Marist180 UHM program are very proud to be a part of and witness every single day.
Refugees and internally displaced people have the right to receive assistance, the right to protection from abuse and the freedom to seek asylum. Marist180 welcomes people in need of protection with open arms and provides care until they are capable of and able to live independently. This story, and many others like it, are true reflections of success.