Abraham Jongroor and his wife Rachel Riak with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Abraham Jongroor and his wife Rachel Riak with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

When Christ Church Melton wanted to start a Sudanese Community Development program they approached the Melbourne Anglican Benevolent Society (MABS) to kick-start the funding.

The parish appointed Abraham Jongroor to coordinate the program. Abraham was one of the first Sudanese to settle in Melton in 2007 with his wife Rachel and their children. Many of the Sudanese who have settled in the area are still developing skills in English and Abraham assists them with a wide variety of tasks that many in the English speaking community take for granted.

A typical week for Abraham will include assisting people with bill payment, writing resumes and helping to complete Centrelink forms. He is often called upon to translate English documents into Dinka or interpret at school or police meetings. He even acts as an unofficial referral service, advising people of council services and legal aid. Sadly, Abraham is also sometimes called out late at night to assist victims of crime.

Abraham says his community development work is a natural progression from early assistance he has given refugees: “Only God knows why I feel this way and why I feel the need to always do something for my people.”

Last year Abraham’s service was recognised when he was presented a community service award by the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

 

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