45 year old Dafina was born and raised in Bosnia, where at that time people with disabilities were given little or no support or recognition. Dafina has Down syndrome, which meant that she was not offered any kind of schooling or disability services and was raised at home by her parents, along with 2 sisters and a brother.
In 2000 the family immigrated to Australia, where they had to learn to overcome language and cultural issues along with establishing new lives and social networks. In 2007 Dafina’s sister Zehrina found R&R and was encouraged by Wendy to allow Dafina to begin outings. Despite being reluctant to entrust her to strangers, Dafina’s parents soon recognised the potentially huge improvements in Dafina’s life that would be made possible by her involvement with R&R.
In the past 8 years Dafina has bloomed and now actively enjoys outings with R&R staff member Tegan, who has been her mentor and friend for the past 2 years. Although the two don’t speak more than a few words of each other’s language, it is very touching to see that they have developed their own way of understanding each other and have a close bond. Tegan says that Dafina bubbles over with excitement when they meet every Thursday, wanting to tell stories of her week and directing
Tegan to the activities that she would like to do. She loves going to the Botanic Gardens and wandering round looking at all the flowers, finding a park and kicking a ball, going to the Jetty and going shopping.
In the beginning of their relationship Dafina would defiantly sit alone at another table at lunchtime, but now she happily not only joins Tegan but also other R&R staff members and clients that they meet on their outings. According to her sister, Dafina has become quite the social butterfly!
Dafina’s mother has been ill for a number of years so her time away from the home also offers Dafina’s father the chance to concentrate on caring for his wife. They are a wonderful and close family and have opened their arms to R&R staff members in appreciation for the huge opportunities that have been given to Dafina.
Just wanted to thank you for the amazing support staff you have put into our home to help with our daughter . One outstanding support worker supported her in such a professional manner , and was not afraid to help in any way she could .
Peter, myself and his family I would like to thank the staff for the wonderful opportunity you provided for our son.
He enjoyed the camp immensely, I believe it is an experience that he will never forget.
I’m emailing today to tell you how great my support worker is; not only is he very patient, helpful and quick-thinking, but he’s also the most friendly worker I’ve had to date. Whenever I’m not feeling my best, he seems to see that and not push me to do things that I’d otherwise be willing to do, however when I am feeling able to do things, he encourages me to do it myself, he teaches me how to do it if I’m not understanding, or congratulates me when I do it by myself.
“R&R gave me my first real opportunity to work in a new industry following my career change. I value the opportunity that you extended, the way in which everyone at R&R including Admin, Coordinators and fellow Support Workers welcomed the new greenhorn and the valuable experience gained. ”
“Wonderful organisation doing some great programs and initiatives.”
“Great place to work with awesome staff and clients keep up the good work”
“I am very grateful and blessed that I have been part of a wonderful service during my time at R&R Disability Services.”