Sudbury Community House The Journey…
The Stories of our Community…
A place of Community; a place of belonging, being, and becoming
where people feel accepted, safe, and free to develop and grow
A place to celebrate success in or community…
As a mother of six and wife of a teacher in the Republic of the Congo, Harrieth experienced the unimaginable as she and her children witnessed the murder of her husband. In the Republic of the Congo at this time there was oppression and fear for many families and communities and many had to flee for their lives.
I looked at my children and knew we had to go, we left family and friends behind and ran for our lives. First we went Burundi but were told we could not stay there. I knew we could not go back so we walked day and night to Tanzania. My child’s feet and legs were swollen to twice the size, we were terrified but I needed to stay strong for my children. We got to Tanzania and they allowed us to stay in a detention centre. There was no school and we cooked what food we had on a fire outdoors.
In 2006 we were offered the chance of a new life in Australia. I knew nothing of Australia or what was ahead for us other than I knew my children would be safe. We settled in Mirrabooka and I only spoke my native French. I was grieving for the many losses in my life, the loss of my husband, my country, my family, my fiends and the suffering of my children. I was deeply lonely with no support to lean on.
I knew there was no going back and I had to start again but it was very hard a difficult journey. I had a case workere who helped me to connect to services in the community this included my introduction to Sudbury House. My girls went to the child care centre there we felt welcome and cared for as Sudbury House became the heart of our lives. I went to TAFE to learn English and completed my Certificate II to Certificate IV in English quite quickly. I gained confidence, joined the church and accessed other community services at Sudbury house. I then completed my Certificate III in Child Care and now work as an educator at Sudbury House.