Kamali's Story

Memories of the mountains

When Kamali brews the herbs prescribed by Foundation House natural therapies practitioners, it creates a powerful and positive connection to his childhood.

“The smell of tea makes me nostalgic for the mountains where I grew up,” Kamali said.

“In the old days, oils were used for massage for women who gave birth and for those who were suffering from joint, muscle and bone pain. My mother used to make that oil. The ingredients were the same, they looked the same, the smell was the same.”

Recovery and possibility

Of Hazara background, Kamali was born in Afghanistan and moved to Pakistan when he was eight or nine. He fled Pakistan and arrived in Australia in 2011, and was in detention for over a year. He had to leave behind his family, but in May 2014 his wife and three teenage children were able to join him.

When Kamali first arrived, he struggled with the physical and psychological effects of his experiences, and was referred to Foundation House by his GP. He received counselling, and also treatment through our Complementary Therapies Service, in particular massage and herbal medicine.

Massage provided short-term relief, and Kamali could take away the herbal oils, capsules and teas to use at home as needed.

“If I had not knocked at the Foundation House door, I would have suffered a lot,” Kamali explained.

“Every member of Foundation House would deal with me in a very human, polite way,” he said.

“The kind of high valued human behaviour, this great attitude that I read in books and myths, turned into reality when I met representatives from this organisation. It is a great human treasure.”

Strength and courage

Kamali has now moved on from Foundation House and lives interstate. He has completed English language lessons, and assists his family in adjusting to a new life. He enjoys studying philosophy and history.

He still faces challenges, but Kamali said the combination of services he received from Foundation House helped him find strength to deal with them.

“The way I have now of accepting challenges and meeting new challenges I learned at Foundation House.”

And he still drinks the tea he discovered or rediscovered in the complementary therapies room.

“It gives me serenity,” he said.

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