When Khowlah and her family were referred to NZF through a Mosque in Sydney 18 months ago, their daughter was in the ICU and they did not even understand why apart from the fact that she was sick. Little did they realize that her health was deteriorating rapidly due to the challenging living conditions they were forced in the past few months.
They were moving out of transitional housing and most of the initial assistance was wearing off. Khowlah very quickly realised the rising costs of almost daily hospital visits, rent, utilities and other medical needs was going to be very tough to manage. They were not allowed to work until they studied English for six months. Her husband could drive but they didn’t have a car.
With multiple areas to assist, the team at NZF quickly started prioritising the immediate needs to stabilise Khowlah and her family first. First step was to immediately organise crisis funding to ensure all immediate food & medical needs were taken care of. Once this was done, the team started working with the Ministry of Housing to prioritise their need for suitable housing for their disabled daughter as the waiting period is 5 to 7 years.
In the meantime NZF assisted her with affordable private rental, however when a brain injury specialist visited the house, they had advised it was highly unsuitable for their daughter and would require multiple renovations to make it suitable. Moreover, they also assessed the assistance Khowlah was getting from her husband and concluded that he is unable to assist in carrying, bathing and feeding their daughter due to his own medical issues. While the NDIS has promised to review funding, they haven’t got back to Khowlah yet and she needs to get on with the day to day needs for her daughter!
In the past few months, NZF has been reaching out through their networks to get letters of recommendations for various services to benefit Khowlah. However both her husband and her own health are deteriorating due to the stress of looking after their disabled daughter.
Recently Khowlah called NZF and sounded really distressed and tired as she was simply not getting any response from the various organisations that are meant to be assisting people like her. Her house had a plumbing leak and a broken floor board (due to the wheelchair) and nearly had a fall with her daughter due to this. NZF immediately put through a crisis payment to assist with the repairs and Khowlah was in tears and said that this assistance only came from Allah. She also informed us she was pregnant recently and had a miscarriage but she was too shy to tell us about it in case people would think she was making up reasons to ask for money subhan Allah.
It has been 18 months since Khowlah arrived in Australia and she is still struggling.
At NZF, we will not give up and insha Allah continue assisting Khowlah and her beautiful family until they are able to stand on their own two feet.
Without your Zakat, people like Khowlah are left ignored by our community and on their own to navigate the complex social system in Australia. All to do on her own, while having to look after her severely disabled 12 year daughter around the clock.
Will we ignore Khowlah’s need?