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Success Stories

After fleeing violence in a war-torn country, life for Miriam* did not improve as expected. However, after attending Creative Youth Initiative she uncovered a love for music and was able to finally leave her past behind.

Born into a war-torn country, Miriam grew up witnessing horrific violence and civil unrest. At barely 10 years of age, she was left to look after her younger siblings when her mother was brutally killed. The situation was clearly becoming dire for Miriam, and her uncle brought her to Australia when she was 13.

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In Australia, her new life did not go the way she had hoped after her uncle married. His new wife was violent towards Miriam, not only causing her harm but fracturing the one remaining relationship she had.

Most nights Miriam was kept awake by nightmares of what she had witnessed in her homeland. Unbeknownst to her, she was struggling with Post Traumatic Stress. Compounded with her estrangement with her uncle, Miriam was forced into a life of couch surfing and occasionally sleeping rough.

She was referred to Creative Youth Initiative (CYI) after finally receiving help from a crisis accommodation service. As part of CYI's Sounds of the Street music program, she uncovered a love for singing and guitar. Miriam engaged well with vocal training and used singing in her native language as a means of reconciling with her troubled past. CYI not only fostered Miriam's talents and helped her explore her creativity, it offered practical support as well.

To encourage Miriam to foster her new-found talent, Sir David Martin Foundation awarded her a scholarship for singing and vocal lessons. These lessons helped her not only musically but also provided a means of finding self-worth and boosting her confidence. Nearly 6 months after graduating, Miriam is finally feeling safe and happy. In addition to working on her singing, she has secured a retail job. Reconnecting with her family is next on her list of goals; once she is more financially stable she hopes to help her siblings immigrate to Australia.


*name has been changed for privacy reasons

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