Yousef Abou Ammar - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
Walking beside refugees and asylum seekers
Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA)
Passionate. Committed. Humorous.
Yousef Abou Ammar helps refugees and asylum seekers on their assimilation journey, smoothing the bumps on the road to their new life in Australia.
The dedicated caseworker with the Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA) puts himself in their shoes, to help provide the help they need the most.
Yousef has created several programs to guide people through the challenges they face, including opportunities to practise speaking English, access free driving lessons and further their education.
He assists with housing, explains Australian customs, rules and laws and relieves the burden of filling in confusing and complicated forms.
With Yousef’s support, two people a month gain their Australian citizenship.
In partnership with TAFE, he runs gardening classes, which help graduates start their own small businesses.
“I help my clients feel welcome as they adapt to their new life in Australia,” he says.
“I enjoy putting a smile on faces and helping them to belong in their community and not feel left out.”
Yousef also works hard to encourage new arrivals to do their bit to protect native flora and fauna.
“Lately I’ve been running a horticulture program and workshops on waste management and how to keep the environment green,” he says.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. The Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency will use its grant to buy computers and develop educational resources.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here