‘I’m so happy I can’t believe it!’
That’s how Mara, a young mum who recently arrived in Australia, reacted to her new home and new hope for her two little girls.
Just a few weeks ago, Mara and her girls lived in fear. She desperately wanted to escape from a life of domestic violence and control.
When Mara shared her story in our March Appeal, she was at rock bottom. Her plight worsened as the COVID-19 crisis forced her to become even more isolated – a frightening reality of the pandemic for women and children in abusive homes.
Our supporters’ compassionate response to Mara’s situation has transformed her life. That response raised more than $25,000 to establish a new Emergency Support Service and deliver urgent help for more people like Mara and her girls.
The COVID19 pandemic has increased the demands on the Emergency Support Service. People like Jonas are turning to ARA when there is nowhere else to go. 63 year old Jonas was forced to live in his car after a family breakdown. He turned up on ARA’s doorstep cold, hungry and afraid for his life – he has been living in his car after a family breakdown at home.
Today, Mara and her children, Soraya, 5 who has severe cerebral palsy, and Alima, 9 have a brighter future, thanks to this new ARA service.
Halia, the ARA Case Manager for Mara, says ‘Mara is a completely different person. She was anxious, afraid and stressed, but now she is bursting with happiness.’
Mara and her girls are now in permanent accommodation, renting a clean, sun-filled house with a big backyard. It’s in Alima’s school zone, and close to shops, parklands and a medical centre. Mara can push Soraya’s wheelchair for the short walk to appointments.
‘There’s been a huge change in Alima’s mental health. She is sleeping, eating and playing well. And she loves being back at school,’ Halia says.
As Mara’s Case Manager, Halia helped set up Mara’s bank account and receive a carer’s benefit for Soraya. She also helped Mara apply for the rental property and organise specialist medical appointments. The next steps are connecting Mara with others via online social activities and starting English classes at TAFE.
‘I knew Mara had strength. She just needed a helping hand.’
Says Mara: ‘I now have the power to run my life and my kids’ lives.’
And she plans to give back, by volunteering to help other women in desperate need.
Donations from people like you to the Emergency Support Service completely changed Mara’s life. Will you please help us change Jonas’ life too?