Fadi Alhano will never forget the night he and his family came face-to-face with Islamic State fighters.
Mr Alhano fled the city of Mosul, Iraq in August 2014, after the Iraqi army conceded defeat to the militants.
As a Christian, he was left with no choice but to run.
“It was either leave or die,” he said. “We left everything behind.”
Mr Alhano came to live in Australia as a refugee in 2016, and has found the transition emotionally and financially challenging.
“It was very hard to start a new life,” he said.
“I had my own business and lectured at university. Then I had to start all over again.
“But thank God I am here.”
He now volunteers at Community Care Inc. in Seven Hills, a charity that provides food and education for new arrivals and refugees in the area.
NSW Multiculturalism Minister Ray Williams and Seven Hills MP Mark Taylor on Wednesday announced the charity would receive a $15,000 grant to continue its fine work in the community.
“This program is an outstanding example of community-run support assisting refugee and newly arrived migrants who have not previously received government funding,” Mr Williams said.
Coordinator Peter O’Brien said Community Care Inc. has run for the last five years, and most of its clients were refugees from Iraq, India and Sri Lanka.
He said the charity saw an average of 35 families per week across its outreach programs, and handed out $6000 in food and emergency relief vouchers per month.
Foodbank provide hampers to give to families every Wednesday, while the service also runs education workshops on Fridays.
Mr Taylor thanked the charity for its service to the community.
“The government is proud to support initiatives that allow families with a refugee background to connect to the community and access important services like food, healthcare and public transport,” he said.