TRUE STORIES: Joseph Majambere – Supporting people from all backgrounds to become who they wish to be.
Joseph is a Support Planner (Case Manager) with Community Care Options (CCO) in Coffs Harbour, NSW
I was born in Burundi, a small country located in Central-East Africa. In 1993, at 11 years of age, civil war broke out in my country – I lost my father as a result of the war and due to survival needs, our family was unable to grieve for him. My family and I lived in a refugee camp for the following 14 years. Living in the refugee camp was extremely formidable, adjusting to a new way of living, I experienced numerous times of hunger and starvation. I often felt extremely scared and we did not feel safe. On many occasions we left our tents and slept in the forest, as we were in complete fear that killers would come during the night and murder us.
My mother became unwell and this became a normal state for my family. As the eldest child of my siblings, I assumed responsibilities and cared for my mother and my siblings. I grew up before my time and missed out on experiencing my childhood and adolescence. As time and the years moved forward, I was familiar with this way of living and embraced my circumstances – although I had no material possessions, I had great wealth in the love I shared with my family and the refugee community.
In the camp, I became a Youth Leader and encouraged children/teenagers to become involved in the Norwegian People’s Aid’s (NPA) ’Right to Play Program’ (a NGO that established various activities to address needs of the refugee population such as emotional trauma; assisting people to maintain their health, hygiene and well-being; farming and knitting cooperatives to develop economic independence); and becoming involved in NPA’s ‘Coach to Coach Program’ (various sporting activities, for example, soccer, netball, marathons, rectangular jumps) – Norwegian People’s Aid provided the opportunity for some play time, social interaction and teamwork for young people to enjoy and be part of in the camp. The work NPA achieved left a lasting impression upon me and was life-changing for me.
Ten years ago, my family and I arrived in Australia, unable to speak English and were settled in Coffs Harbour. This presented another totally different culture that I learnt to adapt to. I found this to be very personally challenging as Australia has so much freedom, I had never previously been exposed to the level of freedom enjoyed in Australia and the diverse culture. I learnt to write and speak English. As I have grown, my confidence has increased and I’ve become more comfortable and familiar with the Australian-way-of-life. The support I received in Australia is truly appreciated.
My family and I cherish living in Australia and we are blessed to call Coffs Harbour home. Australia is an amazing country full of opportunities, hope and people are valued; a country where dreams can be accomplished; and humanity has significance and meaning. I am married to a beautiful Australian lady and we have two gorgeous daughters. This year, I have enrolled externally in university studies. I am very happy in both my personal life and my working life.
I continuously find myself being an advocate for both the refugee community as well as the community as a whole, particularly those who are in need and can benefit from the sharing of my experiences. I strongly seek for what I relate to as community justice – a community that serves its people in equal ways. I am passionate about supporting people from all backgrounds to become who they wish to be. I encourage young people and others whom I work with to take part in their decision-making. I utilise reflective practice and when appropriate, share some of my experiences to assist others on their own journeys, to assist them to move forward. I love seeing the outcomes of the clients and other people whom I support, as its really rewarding and makes me feel a valued member of my local community.
I chose to work in this sector as I feel it is where I belong and where all of my life experiences have led me to. My passion has always been about the community. I am a willing learner and offer to share my experiences with my fellow community members as I believe that by sharing we journey to better ourselves – becoming the best we can be for ourselves, for our loved ones and for the community that we are a part of and belong to.
I provide case management support to clients working in partnership with professionals, adults and children with a range of disabilities to identify client’s unfulfilled/unmet needs, wishes, aspirations and entitlements. I individually assess each client (and their family or carer’s needs) – identifying resources; facilitating communication with other service providers or stakeholders; and assisting clients to gain access to services and support.
I build rapport with clients and establish their individual needs, goals and strengths; and assist clients to plan and implement their goals, enhance their wellbeing and improve their connections to family, friends and community. I take a whole person approach to both the client’s mental and physical health and wellbeing, to improve outcomes for clients.
Community Care Options (CCO) is a fantastic employer. I greatly appreciate the Management Team who is fully supportive and very encouraging of all Employees; equal opportunity is given to all staff members.
About Community Care Options:
Community Care Options provides a range of care and support services. Clients include younger people with a disability, older people and people with dementia, people exiting hospital, carers and people experiencing financial hardship. Our services are diverse and aimed at assisting people to remain living at home within their community, to support their independence and to assist them to maintain quality life experiences. CCO provides service to eligible people living in the Nambucca, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour Local Government Areas. We support over 2,000 people within our community to maintain their quality of life; and we support and contribute to community development and capacity building.
Community Care Options is not just a service provider; nor do we work in isolation. We are an inherent part of our community, valuing its people, their quality of life and their independence.
Community Care Options
Coffs Harbour, NSW