At P&G Purpose, we are a nonprofit dedicated to helping people improve the lives of others in our community.
To truly help those living in our communities, we feel it is paramount to hear, understand and share their stories. That’s why we created People With Purpose — an online collection of stories from our community of employees, volunteers, and supporters just like you.
We hope you will delight in reading these stories and in witnessing the positive ripple effects that result from a collective effort of sharing and supporting.
NOTE: While all the stories that we tell about our people are genuine, certain details have been changed to protect their privacy and to avoid impacting any pending legal processes. Details that may have been changed include:
– the name of the person;
– the photo. While it may be a photo of someone we work with, it may not be the person in that story.
June 28, 2020
When I left home, the situation was very bad. People of all ages, anywhere, [would be there one second and] would be gone [the next] second. It was normal. So many people I knew died, including my girlfriend. I think everyone in the country wants a chance to escape now, especially those with children. The situation continues to get worse, and I think the country will never be the same. It can’t be. Everything is destroyed: the buildings, the roads and infrastructure, the historical sites, communities—so many injured and dead.
I’m from Syria. It was a very beautiful place. I think it surprises people to know this, but yes, it’s true. There were so many places to visit and many nice places at which to eat, drink and relax. [Syria is, or was, full of] really beautiful natural areas to see, so much history, so many ancient sites, culture, and kind people.
I am very happy to be here in Australia and have been here for one year now. It’s been difficult, especially [being aware of] the situation back home when I left. I want to be busy and use my skills to support myself. At the beginning of my time here, I knew everything would be hard: [learning] a new language, [building] new relationships, and [understanding] a new culture. However, I was very happy to leave for Australia.
I was born with a physical deformity in my feet. Therefore, I haven’t been able to take a job that isn’t in an office. I have had six operations on them, not all beneficial, and it is very difficult to stand for a long time. [In fact, standing for long periods] isn’t good for me. Even with this [challenge, back in Syria], I would do four twelve-hour shifts a week for a security job while I was in school. It was very difficult, but I had to work. It is who I am—it is my culture. When I came here, after only one minute, I started looking for a job.
I studied Accountancy for two years in a commercial institute and then for four years through a Bachelor’s course in Syria. However, these qualifications are not officially recognized in Australia. When I finished, I stayed with the same company and was promoted from an Assistant Cashier to an Accountant within three years. I stayed with that company for thirteen years; an international company [that doesn’t offer] office positions in Australia. I have a certificate in Time Management, Business Etiquette, and Stock Control, and I finished a course in business administration through Parramatta College.
After eight months of being here [and steadily looking for work], I got my first opportunity volunteering with P&G Initiatives. It was a position as a book-keeper, and I was happy to take it. I enjoyed the training because I was given the chance to take part in the business environment of Australia. I learned MYOB, which was easier than Navision, and can now show that I have experience with it.
I think my first experience with P&G will have a positive impact when applying for jobs. I have new experiences, [and am learning] new words and new skills—everything. I’m improving my English every day. I have to [support] myself as soon as I can. I hear from companies I have applied to that I have a lot of experience, maybe too much. Most of them have said, “You are very qualified, overqualified [even].” What do I have to do? I ask you! I want your suggestions because I don’t know.
My perfect job? Something involving price adjustment, budgeting, checking invoices, inventory, and helping people. I think I will soon start studying accounting again so my qualifications can be recognized. I love all these things and I’m very proficient in them. I [will continue to] fight even harder because nobody knows what’s going to happen or when.
I’m very happy to be living with my brother because, if I wasn’t, you might find me living on the street. [I don’t make enough money to pay] rent (said soon after trying to buy the interviewer another drink, calling him his ‘guest’ and thanking him for his time). I have to start from zero. It’s hard, especially as I’m 37. (After a moment of reflection) Not from zero, actually. I’m starting from minus (laughs).
I want to try and help people. I earned an English at Work certificate through TIF and am speaking English in Workers clubs. I help my friends and others with translation at no charge because it makes me happy, and I know they don’t have much. I want to know more about how community services help people. I am interested in how these things work, especially after seeing what has happened where I’m from. People are important, and I want to see people experience success.
A big thanks to Miran for sharing his story.