jonathonOn Sunday Nov 22nd night something very special happened. I was with a couple of friends in Northbridge, we’d just been to an event and decided to get some food and eat it at a nearby park. I saw a dark man sitting on the bench across from us and felt like he may want some hot chips so I approached him. Upon asking how he was going he responded with “not very well”. I asked why and he proceeded, hesitantly, to tell me his story. He had arrived in Perth from Tanzania the previous day to start a new life in Perth, with just a passport and $300 cash. Distracted by his new surroundings, he left his passport and cash on the bus when he got off. So there he was – in a foreign city, no friends or family, no money and no ID, planning to sleep in the park and try to survive the week. I gave him some chips, some cash and offered for him to stay at my house until he finds some stability. Continuing our fascinating conversation, I learned he escaped a genocide raid in the Congo where 9 of his close family were killed, claimed asylum in Tanzania and was sent to Melbourne as a refugee where he studied social services and spent 5 years working around Australia helping the disabled and the homeless! He has a daughter in Melbourne but wanted to find work in Perth so he could earn enough to support her. Then once he saves up enough, he plans to bring more of his nieces and nephews to Australia so they can have a better education. Yesterday I took him to Centrelink and he’s on the way to receiving a new start allowance and today Jason took him to the bus depot where they found his passport! He is such a kind-hearted man, a pleasure to have stay in my home and he has so much gratitude. We come from completely different worlds yet relate on so many morals and values, we feel like brothers…which is coincidental because his name is Kin. Such a humbling experience…

By Jonathon Strzina