STARTTS reaches one-year milestone

When Mirna Al Saart came to Australia one year ago she was marching to a different beat.

The 10-year-old had just escaped the war from Iraq and didn’t know how to speak English.

Enter STARTTS (NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation for Torture and Trauma Survivors) – and the drumbeat program.

“They taught me how to drum language,” she said.

“It also helped regulate emotions and I could use drums when I didn’t have the words.

“So if I hit it hard I would be angry and if I hit it a lot I was happy.”

The Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School pupil is one of many the new Fairfield STARTTS office have assisted rebuild their lives.

They provide a number of services including counselling and therapy, self-support groups, complementary therapies and provide activities for young people.

On Friday they celebrated their one-year milestone with an anniversary launch event.

They opened a new office in Fairfield in response to the increased humanitarian arrivals of people from refugee backgrounds from Syria and Iraq, many of whom settled in the Fairfield area.

One of which is Mirna – and she is happy they did.

“I enjoyed coming to STARTTS  a lot,” she said.

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