At five years old, Rasha and her family were forced to flee their home in Baghdad. Nearly fifteen years on, Rasha joined ABC Illawarra to reflect on her journey to Australia.
Rasha’s story is one of challenges. However, it is also one of considerable luck. After escaping Baghdad, Rasha and her family were forced to walk for two weeks to Kurdistan. Rasha reflects on her experience, recalling the moment when her family was welcomed into the home of a stranger. She considers the man’s kindness to be one of the reasons her and her family were able to escape Baghdad.
After leaving to travel to Turkey, Rasha’s family were once again met with conflict. Because her mum was Iraqi, her family was forced to leave by the government. After four years and a successful protection visa application through the UN, Rasha and her family were finally able to leave behind the conflict. However, finding a home was not something they could imagine.
Arriving in Australia posed many challenges for Rasha and her family. Attending school for the first time, Rasha had to navigate both the Australian school system and the English language.
However, with SCARF’s assistance and fierce determination, Rasha and her family found a home in Wollongong. Joining SCARF as a community member, Rasha says that SCARF helped her meet other people from similar backgrounds.
After leaving school in Year 11, Rasha completed TAFE and moved on to work at Illawarra Aged Care. Today, Rasha is working at SCARF as the youth employment assistant and mobiliser, hoping to help others who have been through a similar experience.
Rasha reflects on her experience saying, “I feel proud of what I’ve done and how far I’ve come. We’re very lucky to be here.”