Personal Stories

Each person suffering oppression, danger or persecution is a human being.
Each human being fleeing such circumstances wants, more than anything, to live in safety.

Following are links to a tiny fraction of the factual accounts that exist of the MILLIONS of individuals whose plights force them to leave their homes and seek asylum elsewhere.
We hope you’ll use the insights they provide to help you create EMPATHY EMAILS that resonate.

 

“I SAW MY CITY DIE” – Voices from the Front Lines of Urban Conflict in Iraq, Syria and Yemen (a report from the International Committee of the Red Cross)
The lives of one family in Aleppo, Syria
Yves became a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo when both his parents were killed by rebel soldiers
Dala Banu is Rohingya refugee  – persecution, loss and violence have replaced the rural life lived by generations of her family in Myanmar/Burma 
Rahim, a medical doctor, fled oppression in Afghanistan … but in Australia, he was in detention for years and his refugee claim was rejected 9 times 
Imran, Amir, Madu, Farhad, Atom, Naseem and Ben all describe their years on Australia’s offshore detention camps.
(Go to the full READ page for more on offshore detention centres and/or go to the pages specifically on Nauru and/or Manus Island for additional details to those outlined in the linked report.)
Abyan, a 23 year old refugee held in detention on Nauru requested healthcare to end a pregnancy, the result of an alleged rape. She was flown to Australia but what followed only added to the trauma of what she had already had to endure.
(Go to the full READ page for more on offshore detention centres and/or to this page specifically on Nauru for more details on that island prison.)
Arash has never seen his infant daughter. He remains detained on Nauru but his wife was moved to Australia to give birth. Now the Australian Border Force has told him of his options:  bring his family to be imprisoned on Nauru to apply for US settlement together OR relinquish custody of his child and be processed as a single man. All with no certainty of any offer from US immigration.
(Go to the full READ page for more on offshore detention centres and/or to this page specifically on Nauru for more details on that island prison.)
Faysal Ishak Ahmed was born in Sudan and spent more than half his life in refugee camps. When he finally found his way onto a boat travelling from Indonesia to Australia, it was intercepted by the Australian navy and Faysal ended in detention on Manus Island. When he fell ill, he was given paracetamol, despite intense pain. When he experienced heart problems and became unconscious – collapsing repeatedly – the medical centre doctors told him he was fine. He wrote letters to the doctors to plead for more medical help but none came. But one day, Faysal collapsed for the last time. After 24 hours he was finally transferred to Australia. The next day, news of his death was published in the media.
(Go to the full READ page for more on offshore detention centres and/or go to this page specifically on Manus Island for more details on the situation there.)
 Yahya is a 32-year-old Rohingya man imprisoned on Manus Island since 2013. When the detention centre was closing, the Australian government offered money to Rohingya people who agree to return to Myanmar – where ethic cleansing has recently accelerated. The only other option for Yahya was to stay on PNG where he and others have already been attacked by locals. Yahya made a choice …“I don’t want to die in PNG. I prefer to die in Myanmar.
(Go to the full READ page for more on offshore detention centres and/or go to this page specifically on Manus Island for more details on the situation there.)
Akam* has not known a day of liberty since arriving on Christmas Island in 2013 aged 16.  Having fled Iran with his mother, where their ethnic minority, the Faili Kurds, have faced generations of systematic and unremitting persecution, Akam was already suffering a developmental disorder and mental health issues exacerbated by the trauma of his father’s death. When Iran’s security forces began to close in, his mother knew they had no choice but to escape in whatever way they could. The option she found was a boat to Australia. They ended up on Christmas Island. Since that day, Akam has not known a day of liberty, and he faces the possibility of never being released, despite facing no criminal charges. When he was still a 17-year-old child, Akam grew increasingly frustrated with the slow progression of his case and lashed out at, and threatened, officers, and damaged property inside the Perth immigration detention. He was charged with assault (including one count under circumstances of racial aggravation) and with damaging property. Since then he has been moved to Villawood Detention Centre and because of those childhood charges – that do not take into account his mental health issues or the trauma of his circumstances and despite the fact that as an adult he has clearly acknowledged his earlier behavioural issues – he is deemed to have failed the department of immigration’s broadly defined character test. So the Australian government has the power to hold him, potentially for the rest of his life.
(*not his real name)

Some particularly poignant personal stories are captured by the drawings of children held in immigration detention centres

and finally, to give us all hope for humanity …

 ‘The Man who loves Ducks’
a refugee on Manus Island who lives empathy
genuinely an inspiration to us all.

Click on image to enlarge
Click on text link above or here to read full article

If these true accounts of human beings’ ongoing suffering have given you enough information to create your own EMPATHY email, please take the next 10-15 minutes to
WRITE and SEND

 

Thank you.

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