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Freedom to Flourish is an initiative created to respond to the specific mental health needs in the community of people of refugee background.
It is a partnership between organisations serving the refugee community in Sydney.
In serving the refugee community, we have noticed that many people suffer from grief and trauma in their country of birth, in their journey of seeking refuge, in the process of arriving in Australia, and inadapting to life here.
Freedom to Flourish was established to create a safe place for people to process their pain and so begin their healing journey, starting to thrive and flourish in their new life in Australia.
Our vision is to see people from refugee backgrounds fully restored, in freedom, growing and flourishing in their lives and relationships.
We believe that all humans live in broken relationships within themselves, with others, with creation and with God.
By saying that our vision is to see people “fully restored”, we mean that we believe to be possible to begin to restore our broken relationships.
Through our therapeutic activities and a trusted and safe relationship with our workers, we can begin to offer a model of what restored relationships can look like.
Each individual can enter a journey of self awareness, visiting emotional pain, resolve conflicts, and write a new narrative of their own stories to make better choices about their own experiences of emotional pain, view of themselves, relationship with other people, care for creation, and spiritual connection with God.
Our hope is that this journey to the restored self will help people free themselves from the pains they have been carrying, allowing them to not only grow, but flourish in their lives, as they experience the giving and receiving of love, care, understanding and grace towards themselves and others, especially from God.
Our mission is to create a safe environment for individuals, families and communities from refugee backgrounds, where they are supported in their healing journey.
Safe environment: culturally sensitive; trustworthy; non judgemental; confidential;
Refugee background: ‘Explain the term’ refugee???
they may have experienced displacement, loss, trauma, oppression, violence and persecution
Supported: We offer counselling services to individuals, families and groups; we run trauma healing groups; we promote community groups for a sense of belonging and safety; we offer garden therapy program in our community garden; and we journey with them as they find and develop their own strengths in dealing with their trauma.
The healing journey:
We believe that healing from trauma is a journey, and it involves more than just being able to talk about it without re-living the trauma itself.
In our holistic view of dealing with trauma, we address it from a few dimensions that we believe are the four pillars to a true restoration:
Restoration within self is the journey of self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, self-awareness, continuing developing strengths, strategies and skills, healing the internal conflicts through self-discovery and making necessary changes to move forward. This includes adapting to the new reality of life in Australia, and the search for the individual’s true identity and contribution.
Restoration in relationship with others is the journey of understanding, accepting, forgiving and then connecting with others within the family, community and wider society. This includes finding one’s place in society, restoring their identity in the group, and starting to relate and contribute meaningfully as a member of society.
Restoration within creation is the relationship we can have in terms of enjoying and caring for creation, our environment, and making changes to live lives that are connected to creation in that sense of utilising it and contributing to it.
Restoration in relationship with God is the main pillar of our holistic approach to healing from trauma. We believe that the God of the Bible is the creator of the universe, the creator of each individual, the creator of perfect relationships and the only provider of true healing, true connection and true eternal salvation, in terms of being restored in all the aspects mentioned fully and perfectly. We understand that while we are offered full restoration in Jesus, we still live in an imperfect world, and we will only fully enjoy true healing in eternity in the presence of God. But we are also assured that we can enjoy foretastes of that future hope in the right now as we learn to do this journey of our life in the presence and guidance of Jesus. Freedom to Flourish understands, accepts and respects that people have different faith backgrounds and that it is part of who they are to involve their faith in their healing process. We encourage people from all faiths to participate in the services we provide, as we have created an open and safe space for exploring and involving their own faith in their own process of healing.
- Building community
- Dependence on God.