Refugees celebrate new life

A HELPING HAND: Nadher Ghafferi, who helps refugees settle in to Griffith, helped organised a barbecue for Refugee Week.

A HELPING HAND: Nadher Ghafferi, who helps refugees settle in to Griffith, helped organised a barbecue for Refugee Week.

REFUGEES who fled war-torn "disaster zones" came together on Saturday to celebrate living in Griffith.

Afghan community leader Nader Ghaffari, who escaped a daily threat of murder in Afghanistan to begin his new life in Griffith, paid homage to his new city and country over a barbecue at City Park.

Mr Ghaffari said moving his family to Griffith was the best decision he ever made.

He now spends his free time helping other refugees with basic chores most Australians would take for granted.

"I left family behind in Afghanistan but it was the best decision I ever made because I spared my wife and three boys from constant danger every single day and now my children have been educated and they love life," Mr Ghaffari said.

"Afghanistan was a war zone and our lives were constantly at risk with no guarantee of food or shelter, so it's my dream to one day see the rest of my family move to safety in Australia.

"Many Afghans chose to live in Griffith because it's a nice and peaceful area with a relaxed atmosphere.

"I volunteer by helping new arrivals to settle in when they first arrive, they don't know how to go about simple things including shopping, paying their rent or enrolling their kids in school."

Mr Ghaffari's three sons Arif, Atif, and Asef are at varying stages of tertiary study in civil engineering, criminal justice and real estate a far cry from spending 30 days stranded aboard an overcrowded boat with 250 others only to be detained at Woomera Detention Centre.

Refugee Week raised awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrated the positive contributions they made to Australian society.

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