Easter Appeal 2021

04 March 2021

“During Lent, think about what you can do for people who are in very difficult situations.” ~ Pope Francis.

Dearest Friends,

 

As the day approaches to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we remember God’s perfect love for all humankind, a love that through your continuous support has been transferred to our sisters and brothers that JRS is honored to serve. Easter embraces hope in every home, and sparks confidence in the healing of our sufferings. Hope is precisely what holds Zo and her husband Wiliame, parents to their four young children. 

Let us tell you their story. This family was forced to flee their home due to persecution. After struggling to settle in Australia, Wiliame found a job and was the sole income earner for the family. But with the outbreak of COVID-19, Wiliame suddenly lost his job. 

Like many people seeking asylum, this family is isolated and they do not have many people to turn to outside of the family unit. One of Zo and Wiliame’s children, Wendy, had recently been diagnosed with a disability which explained some of her behavioural issues. They also had a newborn baby boy.  

The whole family slept in one room of their tiny apartment as they could not afford to rent another room. Often Wendy kept the other children up when she couldn’t sleep. The whole family was sleep-deprived due to the overcrowded room and Wendy’s condition. Zo and Wiliame were struggling to get enough food to feed their four young children. Zo was also suffering from significant physical and mental health issues following the birth of their baby.

How your support makes a difference in the lives of our sisters and brothers. 

Thanks to generous people like you, JRS has been able to provide the family with regular fortnightly payments. This allows the family to occupy another bedroom in the unit, giving them much needed space and a better night’s rest. Along with regular emergency relief, JRS has been providing this family intensive casework support to help resolve the family’s health issues, parenting challenges and material needs. JRS also provides the family with regular food parcels delivered to their home and employment assistance to Williame as he tries to re-enter the workforce so the family can be self-sufficient again. 

This family hopes to adjust to their new lives with a baby and child with long term health needs, without the worry of paying rent. 

Last year, thanks to you, JRS assisted more than 3,800 children, women and men. Unfortunately, our work is not nearly over. Forcibly displaced families and individuals are compelled to ask for our help every day due to people seeking asylum remaining excluded from all of the federal government’s COVID support packages. 

Throughout the crisis, JRS has been proving more intensive casework support to people seeking asylum than we have in the past as their needs are so great. We also provide accompaniment and support to women on temporary visas experiencing or at risk of domestic violence. We recognise that systemic change is crucial, that is why JRS’ advocacy work is stronger than ever to ensure that no-one is left behind in the COVID response and recovery process. 

In 2021, we are increasing the reach of our employment program, so people are not reliant on JRS’ foodbank support, but given how difficult it has always been for people on short-term bridging visas to secure work, let alone during a pandemic, it will likely take some time for people to become self-sufficient. 

The JRS team is there for the displaced people at every stage of their process. But we can’t do this alone, we need your help. Gifts from generous people like you make it possible for JRS to continue serving our sisters and brothers who are struggling to survive in our community, people who do not have food on their table, cannot afford to pay for life-saving medications and are at risk of homelessness. Your gift, no matter how small, makes a world of difference to the most vulnerable. 

 

May the hearts of those who have enough be open to filling the empty hands of those who do not have the bare necessities.” Pope Francis. 

 

Today you can help others to live meaningful and dignified lives. Would you help? 

Thank you once again for being part of this family, who is kind, grateful and determined to keep our faith in action.

 

Tamara Domicelj 

Director, JRS Australia 

 

P.S. Your generous gift is 100% tax deductible.

*Names changed to protect their identity