The 25-year-old now has a permanent resident visa, and is among 87 refugees employed and trained by fellow Afghan refugee and entrepreneur, Hedayat Osyan.
“I am very happy to have this job and Hedayat is a very good man. Because in Afghanistan, I cannot get work now,” says Mujtaba.
“This is a safe space where they can flourish, where they feel they belong, and so they can contribute to society and also support their families.”
That’s where social enterprises step in.
“CommUnity Construction offers training, employment and also mentoring to help refugees and asylum seekers to integrate and also settle well in Australia,” Osyan says.
“In my own country, I was considered a second-class citizen. I was treated very badly. But when I came to Australia, I was treated with respect and dignity. From that time, I decided to work hard.”
The father of two now lives in Sydney’s west, with his wife and two children. But his story begins in a middle-class Hazara family in the mountains of central Afghanistan.
“Then in 2009, the Taliban again attacked our village. At the time, my mother said to me: ‘you have to leave because last time the Taliban took your father, and now they will take you as well.”
According to Human Rights Watch, the Hazara, a predominantly Shia Muslim ethnic group, have faced discrimination and abuse by successive Afghan governments for over a century.
As a 17-year-old, Osyan found a people smuggler in Kabul and after paying $5,000 set off on a nine-month journey to safety. From Dubai he flew to Malaysia, and then travelled by boat to Indonesia.
Nine days into the voyage, the boat was intercepted by the Australian Navy. Osyan was taken to Christmas Island and later transferred to a detention centre in Melbourne.
“Most are hugely passionate, they are innovative, they’re creative and they pivot when they need to.
“Imagine a Hazara boy who was banned from most things living in Afghanistan, coming to Australia and getting the opportunity to do a PhD. That is my dream,” he says.
“We are backing social enterprises through our Targeting Entrenched Disadvantage agenda,” Rishworth says.
“We are calling on the federal government to create a national social procurement framework that prioritises social enterprises in business and government supply chains.
“The social benefit to society is enormous and government has a key role to play in unlocking that.”
Hedayat Osyan wants to play a vital role in helping new arrivals settle in and prosper.
“My goal is to expand my business nationally and add more services in order to get more refugee on onboard,” he says.
“Hopefully one day we will be reunited, that is one of my dreams to be back with my whole family again.”
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/how-heydat-found-work-for-dozens-of-people/gytexbqln How Hedayat found work for dozens of people