Three people, three situations, one problem. Drugs.

June 25, 2020

Safoora's Story

Like many Muslim women, Safoora was married through an arranged marriage in 2017. She was excited about getting married to an Australian and was looking forward to the prospects of her life when she moved from her home country to Australia.

Safoora was a IT programmer by profession and was assured that finding a job in Australia would not be a problem. She was told that her husband ran a very successful chemicals business. When she moved to Australia, to her dismay, she found out that her husband did not run a chemicals business and was in fact a drugs dealer. She was in shock, and staying with her in-laws, when she turned to them for support she found that they supported her husband. Safoora soon realised that life in Australia was not what she expected it to be. She was treated as a slave by her in-laws, was never allowed to leave the house nor make any phone calls as they were afraid she would tell the police or others about her husbands drugs business. Her husband used violence as a means to frighten her into silence. At times he would choke her nearly killing her.

After a few months, her husband had a falling out with his parents and applied for a rental house in her name and they both moved away from his parents, which was a blessing in many ways for Safoora. She was still locked up and being ill treated by her husband but atleast she was alone when her husband was away. Her husband's business started having trouble and unpaid bills starting piling up. They were no longer able to afford rent and her husband was spending lesser and lesser time at home. Safoora still dared not leave the house out of fear of what her husband might do to her.

One day, her husband didn't return home. She managed to escape out of the house and went to the local Masjid and Police for assistance. She has got an intervention order since then and the Masjid put her in touch with NZF for assistance.

How did NZF assist?

We assisted Safoora with the funds to settle her existing overdue rental and to find a new cheaper rental place as she knew she could not afford the current house. She is unsure of what will happen with her husband but wants to be independent and has started looking for work though she isn't having much luck due to COVID. This is how drugs directly or indirectly can ruin peoples lives

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Hamia's Story

Hamia was raised by foster families since she was 6. She lost track of how many times she was kicked out of shelters because of her drug abuse. She felt like she was trapped. She didn't have any money and she couldn't deal with the stress of living as a Muslim, with no place to live. She's been in and out of correctional services for the past five to six years. She desperately wanted to break the cycle of her drug usage but everytime she tried making some Muslim friends, it didn't last.

Turning Hamia's life around

She finally got in touch with a Muslim womens group in NSW who got in touch with NZF to see how we could help. At NZF, we assisted Hamia with the funds she needed to rent a place of her own in a community where she could have a good circle of friends. The Muslim Womens group has been instrumental in assisting her and she has since settled in, been off drugs for a few months now and has enrolled herself in a TAFE course. It is critical for those who have a drugs problem to seek help and find the right company to help them break the cycle of drug abuse and this is how your Zakat supports this vulnerable group of people.

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Nadia's Story

Nadia did not know how she could help her husband. She and her husband had no issues for the past two years since they were married. However since he lost his job in January due to COVID, he has gradually changed. He stopped talking to her as much, and would spend the entire day out of home looking for jobs only to return in the evening quite depressed and in no mood to talk. Their savings dried up and soon they started having arguments over due bills and rent. She realised that he did not want to talk about it and perhaps was embarassed to face her because he was unable to pay the bills but she was not sure what she could do.

Gradually, Nadia noticed that he started to have severe mood swings. One day he was extremely quiet and the next day he would be very happy. She started suspecting something was amiss and to her dismay she found out he had started taking drugs. When confronted about it, he confessed to her that he had met some new friends who were also looking for jobs like him and had convinced him to have a go at drugs to relax a little bit. He didn't think it would hurt and soon he was addicted to this amazing feeling.

Nadia was shocked and in tears but she was not sure what to do. It was as though her husband was a completely different person yet she was determined to do everything she could to help him. One day her husband went missing. She reported him to the police, advised them of his situation but he is yet to be found. It had been over 8 weeks and while she had gone to many organisations for financial assistance with bills and rent, she was generally ineligible for assistance for her pre-existing debt, before her husband went missing.

How NZF helped

When our case workers spoke to Nadia, we realised she was extremely stressed and paranoid. She did not want to step out of her home for fear that her husband may come back any moment and she may miss him, or the police may have more information about him. Her only request was for her unpaid bills & rent to be paid so she is not kicked out of her home and she can wait till her husband is found. NZF assisted Nadia with the funds she needed to pay to clear her debts and will stay in close contact with her until her husband is found and things are stable insha Allah.
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The impact of Drugs Abuse in our local Muslim Community here in Australia is real and cannot be ignored. Often, the first impact due to Drugs is financial, loss of income, inability to pay bills, etc. which then impacts families, marriages and homes. At NZF, we look at both short term & long term sustainable programs to assist those impacted by this vice. Thanks to your Zakat, those in need of assistance can reach out to NZF.

All names and places have been changed to protect the identity of clients.

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