As Arshad shared his story to our case worker, he couldn’t stop crying and saying about how much he wanted to do better to build a new life for his family. He and his family had been through incredible tests, but he didn’t want their struggles to limit their growth.
Arshad, with his wife and three children, used to live a comfortable life in their home country where he owned and managed a family business with his father. It wasn’t long after their business was reaching its height of success that a rebel gang took power and attacked his village. They openly threatened to hurt and kill his family if Arshad and his father didn’t pay the money they wanted. He told our case worker that the gang had committed horrendous acts to scare them into submission. They even broke his knee when he tried to stand up for his family, which resulted in a chronic knee injury that physically disables and limits his work options to this day.
Arshad decided to escape with his family and go to any country that grants them refuge from these horrors, but sadly he had to leave his parents behind as they were too ill to travel. By 2017, he arrived in Australia with his wife and children to seek refuge, and they were granted Protection Visas (Bridging Visa A) to help them stay as asylum seekers in Australia.
A few months had gone past, and Arshad was realised that their tests were not over yet. The family received a total of $680 per fortnight from a local resource centre to help pay for all their expenses including rent, utilities, food, essentials and the children’s schooling. They were not entitled to Centrelink or any financial support from the government. As a result, Arshad and his family was struggling to meet their daily costs, let alone pay for their daughter’s expenses to let her participate in school programs despite being a high achiever.
Arshad tried his best to look for a job, anything that could help pay their bills and return his family to the comfortable life they once knew. Unfortunately, the chronic injury to his knee along with the lack of appropriate documents for immigration as an asylum seeker had left him with very limited options for work. He looked for help from as many places as he could and that’s how he reached out to NZF. Arshad told us that he and his family were Zakat payers back in his village while he was actively helping his local community to help the needy in his neighbourhood, He was ashamed of the conditions his family was in now and wants to grow out of this to become a Zakat payer again to help those in need.
Since the day he called us, we have been able to provide Arshad and his family with ongoing access to Essentials Vouchers (including food, medications, groceries etc.), financial assistance for basic needs, ‘Back to School’ funds for his children, and employment assistance through JobStart Assistance and our E.A.S.E. Pathway Program. So far, Arshad and his family have shown strength and determination in everything they do MashaAllah. We at NZF truly believe that through the power of local Zakat (and Allah), families like them can be empowered to grow towards a better future.