Jumabi Mohamad Ali is Rohingya. She reflects that within Myanmar there is no cultural or religious tolerance. The Rohingya have no legal status. Education requires money and, without citizenship, her family could not seek employment.
Jumabi joined her mother in a Malaysian refugee camp when she was 9 years of age, but life was still precarious. Opportunities for education and employment remained limited. Jumabi and her husband, Ali Sharif, made the difficult decision to risk journeying to Australia with their three children.
Jumabi became very ill when she arrived in Melbourne. Suffering from after-effects of the stressful boat journey to reach safety, she was homesick, and missed the support of her extended Rohingya family. After some isolated months in Box Hill the family resettled in Springvale, where they found a thriving Rohingya community.
Jumabi is still mastering English, but her knowledge of Rohingya, Burmese, Malay, Hindi, and Pakistani helps with her full-time work in the Community Hub at Springvale Rise Primary School. She encourages women to attend, assists with English lessons, and helps with small children, freeing their mothers to learn. Jumabi took great joy informing her delighted mother that she had a real teaching job in a school. She has achieved the goal of education for herself and her family that started them on their perilous journey.
That’s why I never give up. I tried my best.
Reproduced courtesy of Jumabi Mohamad Ali
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Reviewed 24 April 2023