OHO has supported the Asylum Seekers Centre of NSW (ASC) since 2005. ASC is a non-profit organisation providing a safe and dignified environment for asylum seekers to live in while they wait for their claims to be processed. OHO has been assisting the Centre with the provision of basic healthcare services and treatments. Our partnership with ASC has resulted in setting up of a Naturopathic Clinic that offers physiotherapy, massage and Feldenkrais Movement therapy.

ASC has issued an urgent appeal to raise $145,000 to support asylum seekers desperately in need of health support. Read the heartbreaking story of Husna* and her children, in a letter sent by ASC to OHO’s CEO Jimi Wollumbin. You can make a donation through the link at the end.

“Nothing scares you more as a mother than carrying a baby when you’re hungry, desperate and alone.” Husna Zahedi*

Dear Jimi,

I am writing to you because we need your help so we never have to turn away a woman, man or child in need, leaving them to sleep on the street, go hungry or in need of health and medical care.

Husna is a quiet, strong mother of three children under the age of four. When she arrived at the Asylum Seekers Centre they were homeless, had no food and had no healthcare. Husna told us that morning:

“My husband and I had been forced to make the heartbreaking decision to separate our family.  We had feared for our safety for a long time and had even been forced to dress our daughters as boys to protect them.  It will take time for them to answer to their female names and enjoy being girls.”

At the time Husna was also 37 weeks pregnant and had not received any antenatal care. As a mother of three children myself, I can only imagine the anguish Husna felt knowing her children were homeless and hungry and that she had no health care to bring her next child safely into the world, this is the reality that Husna faced – and she is not alone.

We found somewhere safe for Husna and her family to stay and conducted a medical assessment. Our nurses arranged an appointment the following day with the local hospital’s antenatal clinic and arranged support to assist Husna with preparing for childbirth. The family enjoyed their first hot meal of many at the Centre and were given a food parcel to take with them.

Most of our clients have experienced persecution, torture, civil unrest or war as well as the loss of family or friends. As such, physical medical issues are often compounded with mental health issues. Half of those arriving on our doorstep are homeless and 7 out of 10 have no access to Government support. Many are denied the right to work and access to Medicare.

With no Federal Government support, all of our work requires ongoing contributions from kind people like you, so I ask that you please make a donation today.

With a donation of:

  • $1000 you can provide 30 asylum seekers with one-on-one casework which assesses the critical needs of each client and provides vital ongoing support
  • $500 you can help up to 10 asylum seekers with essential pharmaceuticals
  • $350 you can provide two weeks of emergency accommodation for an asylum seeker family
  • $250 you can help pay for medical imaging and pathology for one client
  • $100 you can provide a food parcel and a weekly train ticket to three asylum seekers

We urgently need $145,000 to support the critical and immediate needs of asylum seekers like Husna* and her children. Will you help?

Make a donation here http://www.givenow.com.au/asylumseekerscentrechristmas


* Name changed to protect privacy.