Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A morning of contrasts

It's Tuesday morning here in Australia, and I've been awake for about two hours working on a couple of different projects. 
The first is some volunteer work I'm doing for an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  She has her asylum hearing in a few days, and I'm doing research into her case to try to support her claim.  My ex-partner is from the Congo, and we have a little charity that raises money for his brother who runs a medical clinic there.  So, the terrible human rights abuses and the absolutely horrific situation there - particularly for females - is not anything new to me. 
But, I'm finding this asylum research so distressing.  I don't want to go into details about it, but it involves almost every brutal element that the war in the DR Congo is known for. The other difficulty is that the asylum seeker in question is someone related to a friend of mine, and we're all very concerned about whether she'll get her refugee claim accepted. 

I am not convinced that her lawyers are going to put effort into researching her case (she is only meeting them for the first time today, and her hearing is on Friday). So, I'm worried that my very amateur volunteer efforts at research will be the only supporting evidence she has.   I'm finding that pressure very stressful.  I know I can only do my best, but I'm worried my best won't be good enough. 
In complete contrast, the other little project I've been working on is a portrait of a couple of boys from rural Queensland (in Australia).  The boys live on a farm, and are real 'farm blokes', so I'm trying to incorporate this part of their personality into the portrait. It's a lot of fun working on something like this, particularly as the boy's mother is a real pleasure to work with. 
Going back and forward between writing about brutalities in the Congo, and drawing wheat fields in the background of a portrait is doing my head in. The contrast between something that is sweet but ultimately not important, and a situation where a person's life may be in the balance, is just too much. 
And, that's all I really have to say.  I just wanted to write a post to say, 'this is doing my head in.' (And, if you are into prayer or sending metta...I wanted to ask if you could please spare a few moments for my Congolese friend.)

1 comment:

  1. hey - i love hearing these snippets from your life. I will think of your Congolese friend and good luck. Sounds like your friend is lucky to have a friend like you!


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