Osas sought asylum in Australia after leaving Nigeria.
When Osas arrived in Australia, he was able to secure community housing. However, when the COVID pandemic hit the housing he had was reassigned and no longer available.
Osas found himself in temporary housing for five weeks. “It was a conference centre that had been transformed into a makeshift home for homeless people,” said Osas.
While he was there, he reached out to Life Without Barriers for help. The National Immigration Support Service (NISS) team helped him apply for assistance, and when this was approved, Osas could move into a residence in Rockdale.
Life Without Barriers also helped him secure funding assistance.
With his immediate survival needs sorted, Osas’ case worker Nick, and others in the NISS team, worked with Osas on his longer-term goals.
Osas said, “I like to look online for new opportunities to build my skillset and to develop my business plans. I shared my ideas with Nick, and he and his team worked with me to make it all happen. Nick directed me to resources based on my skills, to help me to become more work ready. He also helped me find and enrol in courses I could do.”
Osas has always been driven to help others. One of his ideas was to develop an online broadcast project that could help others stay positive.
In Nigeria, he had worked with young people to help them grow and be creative. In Australia, Osas started a program to help migrants and asylum seekers who were having difficulties fitting in. He thought that by sharing his experience he could help them to integrate.
“Nick encouraged me with my online idea. He and his colleagues helped arrange a group meeting with Thrive, an organisation that gives business and financial support for refugees so that they can start and grow viable businesses. The CEO of Thrive said that once my status was sorted, this project is something that could grow!”
Osas talked about the uncertainty of his immigration status and the frustration it caused.
“It holds me back from a lot of things. A lot of time is wasted. I am a single man here. I am lonely. I want to settle down and have a family, but it can be hard to meet people."
"Some people treat me like an outsider and like I can’t be trusted."
"I have encountered a lot of stigma and slurs. But I have to see beyond it,” said Osas.
Osas said it is good having the support from Nick, and the NISS team at Life Without Barriers, and knowing that he is not alone.
“Nick is a jolly good fellow. He is accommodating, understanding - someone I can really trust in times of trouble,” said Osas.
A persons' story is precious. We take story telling seriously. Sometimes people are able to tell their own story and we love that. Sometimes they ask us to tell their story for them. We always make sure they give us their ok and we will always honour the trust placed in us to bring their story forward.
There is enough room, opportunity and love for everyone
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