Awer Mabil - The Full Story

I am Awer and originally from Sudan. I was born in Kakuma Refugee camp in Kenya on the 15th September, 1995. I came to Australia on the 4th June, 2006 and have been in Adelaide ever since. I still remember life in Africa, although I was young when I left, and at times I reflect on the changes that living in Australia have brought to me. I have one big brother, one little sister and a younger brother. I came here with my mother as my father passed away in Africa just before we came to Australia. I’ve had a hard life as a little kid and my childhood memories will never die, they will always be on my shoulder. However, my childhood has made me the person I am today and I will explain to you what my experiences were and are now.

The life in the Kakuma Refugee Camp was very hard as we had to be constantly aware of how unsafe our surroundings were as it was never ever safe to walk alone. We would receive a food ration every fortnight which had to keep our family nourished. My mum and grandparents had to use the food wisely otherwise we would be left without. Also, there was another fear, apart from lack of food, you had to be careful what you bought because the food could be poisoned and you could catch diseases by consuming it.

Living in Adelaide is so different to the life I was used to in Africa because for instance it is safer when walking alone. The way the houses are designed is also very different to the houses in Africa. In Africa the wildlife is never far from the houses which make it more dangerous. Here in Australia there are blocks, suburbs and no wildlife near houses which makes it safer to go around visiting friends on your own. The hectic lifestyle there was also very difficult and I could not focus on what I wanted to do in the future. There was really nothing and no-one to help you achieve those dreams or goals. The way our house was designed did not help study as it consisted of just one room and the whole family had to either fit in it or they had to sleep in friends or relatives houses.  In Australia I live in one big house and it’s enough for everyone in the family to have a room each.

The culture is very different here in Australia because in the refugee camp everyone is basically Christian. In Australia there are many different cultures because people from all over the world are living here together. This is very good because everyone gets along together and they have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and beliefs. In Africa we all try to look after each other but in every culture you are going to find a group of people who are racist, no matter where you live in the world. Those bad people will always break the rules and do the wrongs things. The people we had around us in our communities in Africa were usually the closest people that we could trust. 

In Africa we experienced a lot of war and violence and we came to Australia to try to get a better life and live peacefully. My family has a very big influence on my life because of what we have been through. I have never had a father to look after me so my mother was always there for us which has made me always wanting to do something to make her happy. She sacrifices everything to make us feel like other kids that have fathers.

Now we are in Australia life has been a life changing event, it is easier because the people around us are friendly, we do not live in fear and have enough food and a room each. Also, we are able to get a job, study and look after the family for in Africa it was very hard to get a job to support the family.