Asiyah is a young Medical student who came to Australia with the hope of completing her degree and work placements at a prestigious university. Her dreams were finally coming true, but unfortunately it came with a cost.
Asiyah was inspired to study medicine because of her personal medical condition that she has had since birth. She grew up with 10 siblings, two of whom had Down’s Syndrome and Autism. Her parents always did their best to generously support their children’s growth, and they were often working multiple odd jobs to make sure their family was happy and healthy no matter what. They even supported Asiyah’s move to Australia to study Medicine, which encouraged her to do even better at her studies. She knew that this decision was costing her parents a lot. Knowing the struggles her parents and family constantly face, Asiyah decided to take a personal loan to fund her studies and support herself., so she made a commitment to complete her studies and work placement by all means, to make them proud and return the love they’ve always given her.
For the first few years, she was doing well and was happy with how everything was going. Asiyah often used her holidays to visit her family back home and rejuvenate her headspace to keep going with her degree, but unfortunately, she was unable to do that this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. She was also forced to move from her university accommodation to help reduce her costs, but that only made it worse for her. Asiyah moved into a share house owned by a couple, which was small without any security measures or locks for her room and was forced to follow unreasonable rules by the owners. She constantly felt uncomfortable and unsafe in her new place, especially because of a male in the house. Sadly, this was the only way she could make sure she was able to continue studying with affordable living conditions. As the pressure increased with her studies and hospital placement in the later years of her degree, her mental health deteriorated under these stressful conditions. Her levels of anxiety, stress, isolation and depression dramatically increased as she didn’t have her family or any friends to provide her the moral support she needed. Just when Asiyah was about to give up completely and go back home at the first opportunity, she reached out to NZF to help alleviate the stresses she experienced. As she shared her story with our case worker, Asiyah could not stop crying as she continued to explained that she felt that she isn’t able to bear the burden anymore and finds herself unable to study because of these conditions. But she also didn’t want to go back home without fulfilling her commitment to herself, her family and to Allah who provided her the opportunity to fulfil her dreams.
The story of Asiyah is one of patience, perseverance and ih’saan (perfection) as she was willing to push herself and achieve the unimaginable despite her constant struggles knowing that Allah will provide the means to help her. Our team was able to organise for her to resettle at a safe and stable accommodation for the duration of her semester and provide any moral or financial support she needed to accomplish her dream of becoming a doctor.
The Smiling Minds program is to assist Muslims who require support with their mental health condition as well as Muslims who would like to maintain their mental health and wellbeing in all aspects of life. We aim to provide services that can cater for families, couples, children and youth, individuals living with trauma etc.