A single dad and his family are now on the journey to what they hope is a better life in Australia.
John Soho, his daughter Judith and young son Allen moved to Australia in 2008 after Judith, then aged 15, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The operation removed the tumour but resulted in more health complications, which are ongoing today. Mr Soho’s wife stayed in Fiji with their five other children, and died from breast cancer in 2010.
Now living in Parramatta, Mr Soho’s wish is to own a car so he can become an Uber driver to earn money and better support his family. A schoolteacher back in Fiji, he now works as a labourer and struggles to make ends meet without any welfare support.
Enter the Wiping Tears Charitable Foundation, which has helped the family for the last year with unpaid rent and medical bills.
The charity was founded by construction company Toplace owner Jean Nassif and his wife Nissy to help families in need improve their quality of life. The charity held its Enlighten fundraiser last Friday. Among the 1300 guests were NSW opposition leader Luke Foley, federal MP Craig Laundy and DJ Havana Brown.
The family were presented with a new car so Mr Soho can become an Uber driver.
A shocked Mr Soho thanked the foundation and paid tribute to the Nassifs.
“Almost year today, Nissy approached us and offered to include us as one of the families they help this year,” he told the crowd.
“I must assure you that with all the support I’m receiving, I want to make sure I’m prepared to move forward with hard work so whatever you have put forward in kindness and support in helping us, I want to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.”
Around $30,000 has been spent helping the family.
“A friend of mine knew the family through her kids’ school,” Mrs Nassif said.
“At one stage they were staying with friends, so we helped them find a new place. He’s trying his best to support his family so we want to do everything we can to support them.”
Mrs Nassif now hopes to help Mr Soho find a new job.
“I know 100 per cent the car has gone to the right family.”