Posts Tagged ‘Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency’

Malik Osman (HARDA’s Executive Committe Member) was featured in a video for refugee week. The theme for refugee week this year is Restoring Hope.

Malik finds his future in his past

Malik Osman is a young man with an exciting future ahead. At 22 years of age, he runs his own successful design business, is an award winning filmmaker and works on new media youth products for the NSW Community Relations Commission. Malik’s drive and determination comes from his and his family’s early life as Somalian refugees.

Malik was just 18-months-old when his mother fled the civil war in Somalia in the 1990s and found safety for herself and her five children in a refugee camp on the Kenyan border. Malik’s father, fearful for his family’s future in Somalia, had already left the country to join an uncle of Malik’s in Australia. After 18 months in the camp, when Malik was still only three, the family was accepted as refugees and his father sponsored them to join him in Australia.

To his mother, education and studying hard were the keys to her children’s future. ‘She also saw it as the means for us to go back to Somalia to help our people one day,’ Malik recalls, and the message clearly got through. He is now in his final year of a law/commerce degree, one of his brothers has an accounting degree and works in the finance industry, and his sister has a Masters in Education and operates a tutoring business.

Malik’s uncle in Australia, Hasan Omar was a strong role model for him. With a former South Australian Health Minister, John Cornwall, Hasan founded the Horn of Africa Relief Agency (HARDA), and also established an orphanage in Ethiopia caring for more than 100 children. ‘Uncle Hasan worked so hard to raise awareness in Australia about the plight of the Somali people,’ Malik, says proudly, ‘and when he suddenly died of a heart attack in 2009, it was a turning point for me. Five hundred people came to the mosque for his funeral and I thought ‘who is going to carry on his work? Who is going to look after those kids in the orphanage?’ I knew I had to step up.’

Malik’s response to the challenge was to throw himself into the work of HARDA and its overseas aid projects. Last year, he returned to Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya and says that he was ‘blown away by how tough it was for these people just to survive and what it must have been like for my mum’. Later this year, he is going back to Somalia for the first time. ‘Mum and dad aren’t real happy about it,’ he says with a smile. ‘I’ll be staying in Mogadishu. I know that I have to go to see it for myself, because it’s part of my story.’

Last year Malik also helped to raise $200 000 for the outbreak of the famine in Somalia. When asked what motivates him to be so involved, he says simply, ‘because they depend on us’.

You can read more about Malik Osman on this page

www.immi.gov.au/media/success_stories/malik-osman.htm

So today i was back at the HARDA office in Homebush West. I’m currently the Volunteer Program Co-Ordinator for the African Men’s English Program.  I enjoy volunteering with HARDA as i get to meet and know a range of diverse Australians. I also get to help people at a grass roots level.  I have met some of the most wonderful people, with such stories to share. One of my good friends; A Lost Boy, Another a Community Elder, so many more with such kindess in their hearts and stories that would have you literally in tears. Volunteering is one of the best decisions i have ever made.  I have actually been volunteering since i was a small child. My parents have been involved in the local Lions Club International for the last 20+ years so each project and community function, us kids went along to give back to the community.  Its like second nature to me.

My passion with volunteering really peaked in about 2007, when i was given a copy of the Invisible Children DVD, and since then, My life changed! You can read about it on my ABOUT ME page!

This year, we have decided to take our volunteering to the next level. My 11 yr old son and i will be volunteering on Christmas Day to serve the homeless within our local community. Its something that i know will be rewarding, and will also show my son the other side of life, and i hope instill good morals and ethics into him as what ive taught. However, this time he will get hands on into it.  My son is no stranger to volunteering himself. Since he was 6yrs old he has been in our local Scouts Group (Cubs and Joey). Through Scouts, children are taught so many great things, they also volunteer in their local & extended communities throughout the state.  In 2009, my son also attended the Invisible Children RESCUE Event and took part in a Worldwide Advocacy Event that over 80,000 people took part in. I am ever so proud that my son shows great enthusiasm to helping others. I hope that through my kids, my Legacy of helping and serving will shine through.

The Rescue Aftermath Media Clip by Invisible Children

If you have time on your hands, seriously consider volunteering your time. Find something your passionate about, could be people, animals, earth, and ring a good Charity or NGO and ask if you can volunteer, alternatively you can go to Volunteering Australia and check out who needs a hand!

Posted by: Rebecca

Follow me on Twitter @AussieActivist

HARDA (Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency) is holding our Family Wellbeing Day this Saturday, October 30th at Auburn Park, Macquarie Rd, Auburn NSW from 10am to 3pm.

Building Resilience – Good Friends help us bounce back!

There will be Jumping Castle, Animal Farm, DJ Prince 2000, Celebrity Soccer Player, Novelty Races, Halal BBQ, Drumming Workshops, Hip Hop Workshop, Information Stalls and Much More!

All are welcome to this FREE Event. for more information visit HARDA Website or call 02 8762 4225 or email harda@harda.org.au