New beginning for Sudanese refugee

Philip Omot found Wesley Mission Brisbane after being placed to complete his Certificate III in Aged Care. He is now studying a Community Service Diploma and volunteers once a week at aged care residence Cooper House.

Philip moved to Australia from Africa with his wife and five children just three years ago, following conflict in his home country of Sudan.

“There has been conflict in Sudan ever since I have known it,” Philip says. “I believe I have the right to be a Christian, but the government there disagrees. If I had stayed in Sudan, I would have been killed or jailed, but my family and I managed to escape to Ethiopia.”

“We lived there for five years in a refugee camp before moving on to Kenya. In Kenya I received sponsorship from my Church that allowed me to travel to Australia.”

“It was a long journey and I am happy to be here – I feel like Australia is the best country, even when compared to other Western countries. I have a wonderful life here, and my family is safe,” he says.

Philip has plans to continue his work with Wesley Mission Brisbane after he completes his community service course. “I enjoy working in the community and particularly in aged care; it’s similar to what I was doing in Africa as a social worker. I feel I’m contributing to something important here.”

Philip spends time talking to residents, helping out with morning teas and special occasions as well as supervising the Thursday knitting group.

“I was very happy to get my placement at Wesley Mission – all the staff are very friendly, they are good people and I feel encouraged to continue my work here because they are so kind to me. The residents, too, are very good people and I very much enjoy their company.

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