Newsletter Subscribe
Australian Catholics Subscribe

YJA 2017 Junior Section Winner: New Beginning 

Sarah Sona  |  10 August 2017

My story started in Iraq, in a little village called Qaraqosh where I was born in 2004. Life was peaceful. However, in 2014, everything changed. Isis gangs wanted to kill all the Christian people in Qaraqosh. 

If we didn’t change our religion to Muslim, we would have to pay money to remain Christian. This was such a bad time for people in Qaraqosh. 

On 6 August 2014, we heard bombs exploding nearby. Dad knew that the Isis gangs had entered our village because the army soldiers had run away. We had no choice, if we wanted to survive then we must run. My family ran into Erbil, the only safe city in Iraq. From there we travelled to Jordan. 

People from an organization called Caritas Jordan welcomed us when we arrived in Jordan. They helped us get some food and clothes and a place to live. We had to live with ten other families at the same place but I thank God that we were safe. The Caritas people were very kind, trying to make us forget the pain of leaving our families and friends in Iraq. There were some teachers from Caritas coming to help the children to learn English. 

A year and seven months later, my family had a call from Australian Immigration. Our visa was ready to go to Australia. We first came to Australia on the 26th of April 2016. After one week in Wollongong, we came to Melbourne because we had family here and it was important for my family to be near a Chaldean church. 

Today, I feel so lucky because I’m living with my family peacefully, free to practise my faith. My dream is to go to university and become an author. The life I have now would not have been possible without the wonderful people of Caritas. They are real justice heroes and I will never forget them. 

This is not the end of my story, it’s just the beginning.


YJA 2017 Junior Section Winner, Sarah Sona, St Dominic’s PS, Broadmeadows, VIC.


Topic tags: refugees, socialjustice–global, people’sstoriesoffaith

Request permissions to reuse this article

Similar articles

The places we call ‘home’

Miriam Stewart | 17 Aug 2017

No matter where we’re from, where we go or who we’re with, we all experience the feeling of community in one form or another. Ingrained in our basic human nature is the desire to seek connections, the desire to be accepted, the desire to belong. But what makes these connections so unique? What defines our sense of community, and how can it change? To find out, Miriam Stewart spoke with three fellow students from St Scholastica’s College in Sydney, all of whom have grown up in very different environments. 

My family’s story

Morgan Triskelidis | 17 Aug 2017

Our own stories can connect us to the wider world in surprising ways. 

Walking with others

Emma Bayliss | 17 Aug 2017

Some words of wisdom to carry with you, to remind you that we’re not alone in our journey. 

Getting there

Anthony Flack  | 17 Aug 2017

Anthony Flack, a Year 10 student at O’Loughlin Catholic College in Casuarina, NT, remembers one of the most important times of his life, and how family and faith helped him through it.

Quiz: What’s my role?

Steven Boscacci | 17 Aug 2017

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Whether it’s in sports, or academic or scientific pursuits, a great team has a role for people of all mindsets. Have a go at this quiz and see what role might best suit you.

This website uses cookies to give you the best, most relevant experience.

Using this website means you are okay with this.

You can change your cookies settings at any time and find out more about them by following this link