The story of Adam
As a young boy, Adam sang a cultural song at school. Instead of seeing joy and pride on the faces of adults, he was beaten by police. Adam is Kurdish, and in Turkey that means violence, verbal abuse, and a lack of access to education and healthcare.
Trained as a neo-natal nurse, Adam faced a difficult choice: compulsory military service or leave Turkey. The Turkish military often attacked members of the Kurdish community, so Adam decided – he had to leave.
After carefully researching his options, Adam came to New Zealand on a student visa. He immediately applied for refugee status and started English language courses. He had no income or support, and when he was told about ASST, our hostel became his home. In the three months it took for his refugee status to be approved, Adam got help and advice from the social worker and access to benefits and support.
ASST staff helped him move from the hostel into accommodation near his English language course. He still receives support, including help looking for work. Now a permanent resident, Adam realises how smooth his process actually was.
"My time at the hostel was a fantastic experience," he says. "It felt like I was at home."
If Adam returned to Turkey, he would be arrested. His government is not aware he is a refugee, as it might endanger his family. But his future is bright: he's working towards an equivalency certificate in neo-natal nursing, and he's here to stay.