The Southern Cross : October 2010
Page 8 October 2010 The Southern Cross www.adelaide.catholic.org.au feature A South Australian Catholic Family Company Proudly S.A. owned Metropolitan & Country 13 Sturt Road, Brighton SA 5048 24-Hour Service Greg O'Neill Steven Farrell Mobile: 0421 654 427 firstname.lastname@example.org 'Excellence without extravagance' 8296 3134 Pre-Paid Funeral Plan available with Priests of Australia Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - a panorama. Nine pioneering priests, 15 serving priests and 6 seminarians tell their stories. Priests of Australia reveals the optimism of those who share in the challenge of being bearers of the Good News of Jesus. Currently over 250 seminarians are studying for the Priesthood throughout Australia. Priests of Australia is presented in full colour and is ideal for families, parishes, schools and groups. Single copies $10.00 + postage 30 or more copies $9.00 each + postage Orders can be made via: email@example.com Pilgrims Quest PO Box 135 Parkholme SA 5043 Queries 0404 381 822 Priests of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow --- a Panorama In the spirit of the recent Migrant and Refugee Sunday celebrations, Rebecca DiGirolamo reveals one of the most agonising choices a mother should ever have to make -- giving up her child. Every day for the past four years, Adhel Chuor has cried for the intellectually-disabled daughter she felt compelled to leave behind in a refugee camp in Kenya in order for her young family to gain entry into Australia. "We were told in the camp by friends that if we put her name on the visa application we would not get in because she was disabled," says Adhel, 38, now living in Adelaide. Under Australian law, there are health requirements for permanent visa applicants, including "containing public expenditure on health and community services". Adhel had to make a decision -- keep her family of five children in the squalid and cramped conditions of the camp, where she had lived for the past 15 years, or sacrifice one family member with the hope of a speedy reunion. She and her husband first applied for an Australian visa in 2002. In 2006, the family was accepted and began their life in Adelaide's Melrose Park. Nyajur, then just six-years-old, remained in the refugee camp with a neighbour. "I would cry everyday. Everyday I would think of her." Immediately after arriving in Adelaide in 2006, a visa application was made for Nyajur. In the meantime Adhel managed to track down her Sudanese-born mother in a refugee camp in Uganda. Her mother journeyed to Kenya and miraculously found and took over care of her disabled grand-daughter. The family continued to wait for a response from the Immigration Department. ""It took a long time because they (Immigration Department officials) kept asking me 'why did you leave the child'," says Adhel. "But I was confused and I thought we would be rejected." Following DNA testing to verify the child was Adhel's, Nyajur and her grandmother Aweil were finally accepted into Australia. Based on the latest immigration statistics, they are among more than 50,000 migrants reunited with family in Australia each year. On July 20 -- Adhel embraced her daughter for the first time since 2006. Nyajur is nearly 12 years old now. It was also the first time Adhel had seen her mother in over 20 years -- the pair was separated when Adhel was a young child. "I went crazy about her," says Adhel of the reunion. "Everybody was looking at us in the (Adelaide) airport." But the family's story of years of separation is not unique, says Deng Chuor -- Adhel's step brother and one of five seminarians of the Adelaide Archdiocese. "There are a lot of people who have the same stories," says Deng, who sponsored his sister's family. He said his sister was tortured by the separation from her child, especially because of her disability. "It was really difficult for her," he says. "Every night was the same for her. She couldn't sleep." The entire family was affected by the child's absence. "Especially the younger one," says Deng. "He was asking everyday 'where is my sister', 'where is my sister'. We used to tell him she was coming until he eventually forgot." Mum, daughter and grandmother are inseparable at their Dernancourt home. And while Adhel acknowledges her daughter and mother share a special bond, she is overjoyed to be by her daughter's side again and to give her children, now six of them, a better childhood than her own. "My life as a child was not good, but now it is and my children will not have my life," says Adhel. "It will change for them." Adele's choice TOGETHER AT LAST: (L-R) Nyajur reunited with the brother she had never seen, her mother Adhel and grandmother Aweil.