“My hope for my children is to support them to finish school … and make a good future for themselves.” – Kerima, mum of two boys

Above Kerima, a BSL participant, with son Mahir
Above Kerima, a BSL participant, with son Mahir

In our recent Christmas Appeal, we introduced supporters to Kerima and her family. Since moving to Australia, Kerima’s efforts to make a better life for her family have been impeded by isolation, unemployment and then the COVID-19 crisis hit.

Coming to Australia from Ethiopia was hard for her. Her qualifications as a pharmacist weren’t recognised, so she couldn’t find work. She had no connections or support network and ended up very isolated with two young children at home.

But with the support from the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL), she was able to take charge and make positive changes in her family’s life.

“The Brotherhood of St. Laurence supported me…connecting me with specialist care for my children’s development … and their early learning program has helped my boys to develop their fine motor skills and get school ready”, says Kerima.

Also through BSL programs, Kerima received training in career pathways, digital literacy and small business.

“I learnt how to find a job, how to prepare a resume and how to use my computer. I also completed a small business course.”

Through her training, Kerima was delighted to successfully get a job. She became a tutor in one of BSL’s early learning programs for children. Now she’s directly involved in teaching parents how to prepare their children for school.

And now Kerima has met a diverse range of people through BSL, she has a large support network.

Through the regular support from BSL, and thanks to the kindness of supporters like you, Kerima and her family have weathered the COVID crisis better than many. And they now have the tools and support they need to continue to build their lives as they emerge from the pandemic.

Unfortunately, as the long-term effects of the coronavirus crisis continue to unfold, many other families will struggle. That’s why this Christmas we hope to raise $355,000 needed to meet demand for our vital services for children and families and make this a time of restoring hope and rebuilding lives.

With your support, we can make this Christmas worth celebrating for many more families in Australia!

You can give a special gift this Christmas by visiting bsl.org.au/christmas or call our friendly team on 1300 DONATE.