A Burundian Refugee's Story

Sanctuary Australia FoundationBlog, Refugee Stories

Joseph, safe in Sydney

Joseph, safe in Sydney

I am Joseph B., a Burundian man who fled from Burundi to Ethiopia due to severe persecution. I stayed in Ethiopia as a recognised refugee from February 2007 until August 2012, after which I was resettled in Australia.

I have repeatedly faced serious risks to my physical safety since August 2007. I was attacked by a group of criminals, stabbed with a military bayonet, which temporarily paralysed me on 9th January 2010. I was also strangled by the same group of men. Institutions in charge of my protection in Addis Ababa didn’t care for me, until Sanctuary Australia Foundation was contacted. They sponsored me by submitting my application to Australian immigration and on January 2011, when I received my humanitarian visa application.

Sanctuary Australia Foundation has made the utmost effort to support my case. As a poor Burundian activist, lawyer and journalist abandoned by himself, I have been at risk of losing my life and harassed by my ‘protectors’  who are still alive to this day.

SAF and my supporters have finally ended the repeated threats to my physical safety. My gratitude goes also to those who fed me when I was hungry and those who provided me with clothing when I was almost naked for they’ve been the people who really understood the mission human beings were made for. My thanks go as well to Cantarella Bros Pty Ltd which employed me in its company as soon as I settled in Sydney after my arrival from overseas.

I believe I cannot find proper words to express my gratitude to Sanctuary Australia Foundation. Without the advocacy and sponsorship of Sanctuary Australia Foundation, I would not be living the amazing life that I now have in Australia.