It has taken a long time for Ali to overcome his fears and suspicions after suffering religious persecution in his homeland of Iran. After converting to Christianity and experiencing a period of imprisonment, he fled Iran and sought asylum in Australia. But the path to resettlement has been fraught; separated from his wife and daughter whom he was forced to leave behind in Iran, he feels adrift in this new country, and is still awaiting a decision on his visa application.
“Ali’s mental health issues are very pressing, but luckily at JRS we have enough resources to know where to go to get help for him,” says caseworker Cecilia Silva. “He had suffered in Iran, and it was a real challenge to get to the bottom of his problems.”
Ali is currently undergoing counselling, and has completed an English course facilitated by JRS volunteers. He attended classes with the man he shared a room with at a JRS shelter.
“They teamed up very well and came to their English classes together,” Cecilia says. “Ali always had a big smile on his face. That was a real bonus for someone who had been a bit withdrawn, a bit overwhelmed.”
Ali keeps the faith by attending church services on the weekend, and praying for a positive response to his visa application – one that will set him on the path to a new life in Australia.
JRS supports Ali, and many others like him. With your help, we can continue to make a difference in their lives.