We are overcome with both joy and sadness to say goodbye to one of CRP’s family members, Astonia, who has been working at CRP for over two years. Sad because we won’t be able to see the smile that she put on people’s faces and radiant personality that made everyone close to her happy, but also happy because has finally realized the goal she’s been working on since she fled Iraq due to religious persecution: moving to her new home in Australia.
Everyone at CRP loves her. “She was the most welcoming person that I met when I first started working at CRP. She has always been very easy to work with and very delightful. I also loved how she worked with the beneficiaries,” says Sara, one of our volunteer staff members.
Suleiman, a volunteer and beneficiary agrees. “She’s very honest and direct, which made working with her easy. She’s also very considerate and genuinely cares about people.”
It’s hard for Astonia to say goodbye as well, but Astonia knows how much better her life will be in Australia. “I’m very excited,” she says. “Living here has always been very stressful, always worried about work and anxious thinking about the future, so the first thing I want to do is live a normal life away from all that.”
Astonia has always been very ambitious and hardworking, despite eschewing the spotlight (that’s why you may not recognize her from other blog posts—this is one of the only times she’s allowed us to feature her!). “I will work hard on building my future through higher education and a proper career as well Improving my English skills,” says Astonia. She will always be an amazing part of the CRP family, no matter where she is in the world.
“I’m excited to see all the friends I have in Australia, we’re already planning to go out to parks and around the city and parties. I’m also to see my aunt and my cousins who live there,” says Astonia. She’s lucky that she already has friends and family who have been resettled to Australia, making the transition easier for her.
Astonia has been a great asset to our work team, managing women’s programs, handing out food vouchers, and assessing families on home visits. . Not only do we love her, but so do all of the beneficiaries who interact with her. “I’m going to miss all the people that I am able to help when I come to CRP. The smile that I would see on people’s faces when they get a coupon or get enrolled in a new program always made me happy,” says Astonia. “I’m excited to follow CRP news. I’m hoping that we are able to open more centers around the city and become more famous so that everybody sees the good that CRP does and of course get more overall support,” she exclaims.
Astonia applied for resettlement for almost three years ago. The number of refugees that get resettled is very small and those who do get resettled have to go through a long period of waiting to hear back any updates on their case and sometimes people even have to go through that process more than once. Astoina says “Something this big won’t come easy, we waited for a really long time and got a rejection initially, but we applied again hoping for the best and I’m so thankful I’m lucky enough to get resettled.”