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Connection and support got a resilient lawyer back on his feet

The Rwandan genocide forced a young Jean to flee to Burundi, where he studied hard to become a lawyer, eventually representing his nation on the world stage. But when violent political opponents put his life at risk, he secured a scholarship to study in Australia, moved and applied for a protection visa. Securing the visa, finding a home, and work was difficult.

Jean attributes his survival to charities like Red Cross and the generosity of friends he met along the way – including the “Australian family” he met at church. As a newly arrived migrant, Jean knows what he needed most: “I don’t want money or handouts, I want to know how to transfer my skills into the Australian job market and integrate into Australia society.” 

Red Cross’ migration support programs assist refugees, asylum seekers, people in detention centres, people who may have been trafficked, forced into marriage, or are vulnerable as a result of migration. Red Cross provides emergency relief in the form of transport cards, grocery vouchers, essential medicine and healthcare, and emergency accommodation to migrants with no other income or financial support.

Our programs also help asylum seekers access medical services, housing, language classes and other essential services. Red Cross works with people regardless of how they arrived in Australia, and regardless of their immigration status because we believe everyone deserves the right to the basic necessities of life, dignity and respect. 

Jan's story

When Jan was diagnosed with cancer, she drove the arduous trip to and from hospital herself. But exhausted and nauseated from chemo, it soon became impossible. Relief came in the form of a friendly driver from the Red Cross patient driver service.

John's story

John’s life was turned upside down when Cyclone Debbie hit and the subsequent floods swept his small business. A Red Cross emergency volunteer checked in on him and made him realise someone cared, making the long road to recovery so much easier.

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