August 2020 Survivor School Recap
This term our school is running 10 classes and finally a number of them are face to face. Clients who need to stay home in their PJ’s due to a bad night or anxiety, can still link in, but a number are tired of being isolated and August has become the month they decided to take the trip into the city.
One of our new referrals reported that she is enjoying our classes very much, and she informed us that Yoga and Health & Self Care are helping her with her wellbeing and state of mind. She said…
“I am so pleased to be connected with the The Freedom Hub, it has opened up my world and many good things are happening now”
Three of our Work Ready students from last term are progressing well in their new jobs. One has commenced a paid Nursing Internship and TAFE course. She excited to have made new friends. Another has started a casual role as a Traffic Controller & she continues as a casual cleaner as well. And a third is working as a part time dentist assistant job, and she is going well.
One of our newer survivors we helped to set up her own cleaning business. She had her first client, cleaning in a private home! Therefore, she was so excited and felt very successful and independent. Her determination to succeed in life means that she has chosen to continue in our work ready class, in the hope of finding part time income while she builds her business.
One of our most exciting highlights of the week is our Zoom Coffee chat with our new mums. We welcomed two new babies into the Freedom Hub community so now we have a total of five!! They laugh and enjoy sharing feeding and play tips. It is such a great testament to the success of our school. Survivors from 4 and 5 years ago have been out working, found a good partner, moved into their own homes and are having babies. That shows confidence and happiness. It warms our heart that they would come back and re connect weekly during this precious time. Good360 have donated hundreds of nappies and some generous donors have given Baby Co gift cards. If you would like to donate a gift card or donate some money to help these babies start life well here is the link.
Last month Good360 organised with Domayne Furniture to donate about $35,000 worth of new furniture to our survivors who are used to owning old secondhand furniture. COVID has made everyone stir crazy but this put a huge smile on the dial of our survivors. It was great to start August with a new feel in the house and we think this helped those clients to engage more in life this term.
The brightest smile on the face of just one, among many, of the women who received a Domayne furniture donation in the midst of the Covid crisis, was a true testament to how far an act of kindness can extend. Equipping her home with a high-end leather lounge suite and dining setting left a very deserving woman in tears and beyond words. After experiencing extreme hardship in her home country, she is now in the safety-net of our country, Australia, and she expressed that she never imagined having the capability to furnish her home with such beautiful furniture. (pictured is the dining setting she received)
“If I could imagine my dream furniture in a new home, this would be it!” she said, with tears of joy in her eyes. “I am so grateful that I will finally have beautiful furniture in my dream home!”
More Furniture Needs
One of our survivors is has just moved out in the last week and missed this amazing donation. She has nothing to sit on, just a bed and really needs a sofa and dining suite. Obviously we would like to give her something in amazing condition so she feels valued, so if you have anything please contact us.
Mental Health Issues
Sadly, mental health is still a big problem. We are all getting a small glimpse into what it is like to live with long term uncertainty, isolation, loneliness, lack of social contact, and anxiety. Added to this our survivors have no family, most have no work and are not allowed to work due to visa restrictions. So limited finances and belongings add to their struggles. We love that the most report that being with the Freedom Hub even for a couple of hours a week helps them escape these realities.
But some cannot even bring themselves to do that at the moment. Last week one of our survivors messaged to say that she will withdraw from Computers, Piano and Work Ready as she feels she cannot manage and she reported that her “depression makes it worse”. While we are grateful she could be honest, we wonder how many others who skip classes and weekly contact; are feeling this way. COVID is impacting terribly on all of us, but for the already vulnerable, it is a crisis.
During the month of August, Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) have deemed us eligible to receive this free service, to be used for onboarding purposes. This means we can take more referrals from survivors with limited English.
We are working hard at getting our current curriculum onto our new E-learning platform. This will mean clients who are not up to making it to class will be able to continue from home. It will also mean we can take survivors from all over Australia and potentially the world!
A huge shout out to City of Sydney grants, Mary McKillop, and a number of other large donations to make this a reality for us. We have been able to restore donated laptops, buy software, team viewer and data to help more clients engage. We still need about 20 more laptops that can take the latest Microsoft Office software (not Macs). Contact us if you can help.
Random acts of kindness are never to be underestimated, in particular in the climate of our current world. True hope can be restored in the lives of human beings who had completely lost faith in humanity. Thank you so much for being one of our valued supporters.
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