SSI News Blog

An employment opportunity with Australia for UNHCR has significantly increased the outlook, self-esteem and motivation of a 20-year old Syrian woman who is new to Australia.


Joel Farayeh was a program participant of the SSI Youth Pathways and Pathways Program (YPPP).
Joel Farayeh was a program participant of the SSI Youth Placement and Pathways Program (YPPP).

Joel Farayeh arrived in Australia as a refugee. Before she fled Syria to Lebanon with her family, Ms Farayeh was exposed to horrific circumstances. Bombs had been dropped around her hometown and her uncle was kidnapped by armed gangs. Her family is still uncertain of his whereabouts and safety.

In addition to receiving on arrival support through SSI’s Humanitarian Services Program (HSP), Ms Farayeh was also connected with the Refugee Employment Support Program (RESP), a service that addresses the challenges experienced by unemployed or underemployed refugees and people seeking asylum in finding sustainable and skilled employment opportunities.

During a settlement trip arranged by RESP, Ms Farayeh was introduced to the manager of the Youth Placement and Pathways Program (YPPP). She was given the opportunity to work at the SSI Campsie office as a participant of the program.

YPPP, which gives the opportunity to work, study, earn money and participate in extracurricular wellness activities, was a launchpad for Ms Farayeh to improve her English, gain work experience in Australia and become job ready.

Ms. Farayeh is now working part-time as an Office Administration Assistant with Australia for UNHCR and has paired this with further study in an online business course. She is grateful in having gained employment with an organisation focused on assisting refugees and people seeking asylum — an issue that is so close to heart.

“I learned a lot from SSI. A lot of communication — customer service — I am improving my English and I have experience now in office, I am very very happy. I like Australia very much.” Ms Farayeh said.

Ms Farayeh’s story is inspirational as she was in the program for less than one month and as a direct result, has gained part-time employment in a highly credible organisation. Her attitude was consistently positive despite the immense hardships she faced when starting a new life in Australia.

Success stories

Four Brave Women: Summer Hill café empowers refugee entrepreneurs

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenFour Brave Women is open for business!

Developed as a joint initiative between The Trading Circle, a division of the charity Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, and SSI, Four Brave Women is a café and community space where refugees have the opportunity to create a sustainable income for themselves using their culinary skills. It is a creative and inclusive space that celebrates different cultures through food and art.

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