A Survivors Dream Story – at the Freedom Hub Survivor School

What else does The Freedom Hub do, you ask? We can make a dream come true! Not in a willie-nillie, airy-fairy sort of a way, but for REAL. Yes, we help to empower Survivors. Therefore, we help them get their lives back on track. And YES, we support them with long-term care.

But what does that really mean?

We try to find out a dream they might have. As a result, we do our best to help them fulfil it. A dream can give hope. And, a dream can drive motivation. Also, a dream can take a survivors mind off the trauma of their past.

A Survivor Story

Here is just one example of a young Survivor of Forced Marriage. She had been in our ‘Lucky Country’ for only 6 months, before being referred to The Freedom Hub.

With very basic English skills, and trauma, she was extremely nervous about going to new places. But, she bravely met with our kind and compassionate National Charity Manager to discuss the classes and services the Freedom Hub offers to young girls just like her.

We showed her the timetable of courses on offer at the Survivor School. Including: Living in Australia, English, Swimming, Computers, Yoga, Work Ready, Health & Self Care, Personal Development workshops and a variety of peer-supported excursions. We asked her “What classes would you like to do?” Wide-eyed and with excitement, she replied, “EVERYTHING!”

And she did!

The next two terms at the Freedom Hub Survivor School, she attended EVERY class, workshop and excursion we had on offer every day. She was determined to improve her English, be healthy, develop her business skills. As a result, she also learnt how to get around independently in Sydney. And she did!  Therefore, we saw her confidence and self esteem grow. But wait, there’s more!

When we asked, “What would be your absolute dream job one day?” She replied, “I really want to be a nurse. I just love helping people. But I would never be good enough to do this.”

Impact of Trauma on Mental Health

By the way, having a low self esteem and not being able to believe in their own ability, is a common symptom amongst our survivors.

“Because the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can be difficult to cope with, many people with PTSD may suffer from low self-esteem, making it important that they learn how to improve their self-image. In addition, individuals with PTSD experience other difficulties, such as depression.” Read More.

Back to our story….

Did you say Nursing? Well, that is why the Freedom Hub maintains strong community partnerships with a vast array of organisations. After a rigorous application process, a lengthy interview with a panel of three representatives from TAFE, the local Health District and another partnering community organisation, our very motivated young Survivor was accepted into a fully subsidised program to complete her Certificate III as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN). So, following that, she can progress to her Diploma, while working as an AIN in the local hospitals, with the option to then progress to University studies to become a Registered Nurse.

She is currently thriving in her studies, very focused on getting to University one day, and feeling positive about her future.

“This is my dream come true!” she said, now with quite fluent English. “I couldn’t have achieved this without The Freedom Hub!”

If you would like to help our survivors get back on their feet and see their dreams come true you can help out here.

Written by: Eleni Argy

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