A fresh start for Vicki: Support for asylum seekers

Life as an asylum seeker isn’t easy.

Even with work rights, asylum seekers in Australia face a range of hurdles to gain employment, access housing and simply care for their families. Many, like Vicki – a mum to two young boys – face this struggle alone, as they wait for spouses to join them in Australia.

That’s where your support for Share – and agencies like Lentara UnitingCare – makes a real and lasting difference.

Recognising the struggle asylum seekers face in finding employment, at the end of 2015 Lentara established a social enterprise initiative called Fresh Start. The program employs asylum seekers to provide cleaning services, facilities maintenance and event support for Lentara and several external customers.

Vicki, works as a part-time cleaner for Fresh Start.  Being able to work while awaiting the outcome of her bridging visa helps ease the financial pressure on her and her boys, while keeping her connected to her new community. Her employment with Fresh Start is also laying a foundation for a new career in Australia. As Lentara UnitingCare’s Mohammed Isah explains:

“For asylum seekers who possess valid work rights, the day-to-day struggle of securing and maintaining employment is all-consuming and leaves limited, if any, opportunity to invest in career development.

“The vision for Fresh Start is to identify and develop career pathways for asylum seekers to transition over time to higher paid employment in accordance with their expressed career aspirations.”

For people like Vicki, your support for Share means a future with more security and a chance to follow her dreams here in Australia. Thank you!


*At Share we respect everyone who is helped by the programs we fund – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, their names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.