When I met Jonas, my heart broke for him.
He arrived on our doorstep a broken man – cold, hungry and alone. That’s when I sat down to write this letter to you.
It’s my second year as ARA’s CEO and I am still shocked that there are no existing on-the-ground programs, across any agency, that provide urgent, practical, immediate support for everyone who needs it.
I don’t and won’t accept this. As one of our loyal supporters, I’m sure you won’t either.That’s why I am writing to you about ARA’s Emergency Support Service.
Our new service gives people in need the chance to live through a challenging situation with some stability. Day-to-day basics such as groceries, bedding, bus tickets, fuel, a bond for accommodation – anything that will set them on a new path to safety, with confidence.
Jonas is just one person who desperately needs support from you and me.
Do you remember Mara and her children, Soraya and Alima? We are so relieved to tell you that thanks to you and ARA’s Emergency Support Service they are safe, well and happy. Now we must help Jonas the same way.
We desperately need an injection of funds to help Jonas.
People like Jonas are falling through the cracks, coming to ARA as a last resort. But due to extra pressure on our services amidst the COVID-19 health crisis, ARA does not have the funds to help everyone who needs it. That’s where I need your help.
With winter upon us, there are many bitterly cold nights ahead for people like Jonas. People who have left their family home into freezing weather. Refugees and migrants who came to Australia for sanctuary are now fighting to survive a new kind of devastation and trauma. It’s simply not good enough. We must do something.
I want to create a better future for Jonas and together, we can do this. When you support ARA’s grassroots work, you can help refugees and migrants like Jonas build a safe, secure new life. Will you please consider a gift of $50 towards day-to-day essentials for Jonas, like food vouchers and fuel to get to medical appointments?
Sixty-three-year-old Jonas is a gentle, hard-working family man who was a talented master craftsman in his home country in the Middle East.
Growing up in a poor family did not stop Jonas’ drive to succeed in life. He was accepted out of school for a business degree but with no financial support, he had to withdraw. Working as a craftsman, he found his true passion. Learning on the job, in time, his skills grew and he opened his own business. At the height of his success, Jonas owned two shops with four staff members.
He was a successful businessman, married for 26 years, two children, a comfortable house. He earned good money, gave his kids what he didn’t have; a university education. He supported his wife and helped at home while she raised the children.
In Jonas’ culture, and with his family, he was a complete success; highly skilled job, a good income and lifestyle, a good provider.
Then the Middle East plunged into a dangerous period of political and religious persecution. Jonas was in danger, targeted by ISIS for his success. He had to start a new life, hiding in the shadows.
To protect his family, he moved to another country, sending money home. The local economy failed and so did Jonas’ shops. His staff had to take valuable stock as wages. The persecution raged on. ISIS turned Jonas’ family out of their own home.
Jonas applied for asylum for the family in Australia and they fled. Jonas, as head of the family, took on full responsibility for settling in, finding a job and securing a new, safe future for his wife and children. But at 63, with highly s