7 April 2021

Your support gave Saarah a sense of belonging in a new culture

Posted in Chaplaincy / SU QLD

When mum Sihaam and her young family migrated to a small North Queensland community from South Africa in 2013, they worked hard to integrate into a new and foreign culture.

Thanks to your support, chappies like Wendy are trained and equipped to journey with families like Sihaam’s to help them thrive.

In addition to being qualified, Wendy also sees each and every person she supports through God’s eyes – and that makes supporting families like Sihaam’s all the more special.

Wendy worked with Saarah (Grade 4) and her sister, from their first day of school.

“There were some teasing and bullying issues. Some boys would tease them for wearing their hijab. I made sure [the girls] knew I was always there if they needed a safe person to talk to,” says Wendy.

For Sihaam, she knew her daughters would face challenges.

“When my girls first arrived at school, they were practicing Muslims and their accents were a bit different. Whenever a terrorist incident was on the news, my girls would feel the repercussions of that.

“Navigating differences like that in a school is hard, but Chappy Wendy was there for my children. She helped them feel a sense of belonging.”

Chappy Wendy was a constant source of support for the family, including a source of spiritual support.

Like Christians, a Muslim’s faith is central to their identity, which is why the family took comfort in knowing they had a safe person at school who could advocate for their spiritual and practical needs.

“Despite our different beliefs, there’s more focus on what’s the same about us. We formed a beautiful friendship and my girls felt comfortable with her as well,” Sihaam says.

Wendy also played a key role in helping Saarah transition back to school after a brief period of homeschooling. In 2020, Wendy attended Saarah’s graduation.

“What I found really amazing was that even though she is a Christian chaplain, she went above and beyond for kids of other faith backgrounds like me,” Saarah says.

Wendy is so proud of Saarah and her family who are now thriving in their adopted country. She’s also grateful for the training she’s received, which plays a vital role in the support she gives.

“If I didn’t have the Diploma, I don’t think I would have been able to do half the things I’ve done as a chappy,” says Wendy.

Through your generosity, chappies like Wendy are being trained and equipped to support those in need.

If you’re passionate about bringing hope to a young generation, find out more about our training opportunities with SU QLD (RTO 30458), visit training.suqld.org.au

Samuel Moore

Digital Media and Communications Coordinator

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