18 December, 2020
Help sought to reunite family
A grief-stricken mum who has been separated from her husband and five children for nine months due to the international travel restrictions of COVID-19 is fundraising to bring them to Australia so they can be reunited.
Rejoice Moyo, a physiotherapist with 13 years’ experience, moved to Australia from Zimbabwe on a skilled migrant visa this year after being hired and sponsored by Pro Active Physiotherapy in Whitfield.
She arrived in March to start her new job, and the plan was for her family to join her six weeks later when the school term finished, but this dream was crushed when COVID-19 lockdowns hit.
Nine months later, the heart-broken Ms Moyo is still waiting for her family to join her as they cannot afford the huge and unexpected increase in flight costs.
Time is of the essence as Ms Moyo’s husband runs a driving school in Namibia but the family’s working visa for Namibia will run out at the end of December and they will have to return to Zimbabwe, causing a further loss of income.
Ms Moyo said flight prices fluctuated and were sometimes as high as $6000 per person, not to mention the cost of quarantine.
Ms Moyo’s five children are Emmanuel, 15, Precious, 12, Sandiselwe, 10, Prince, 6 and Sean, 3.
“We saved for years and had all the necessary visas in place to achieve our dream of moving to Australia to secure a better future for our kids,” she said.
“Now, it’s been nine months since I’ve seen them and it’s got harder and harder with each passing day.
“My youngest, Sean, is only three and sometimes he doesn’t want to talk to me, or he asks his father to help him go and look for his mother because he doesn’t understand where I’ve gone.
“I’m trying to keep my head above water and function at work, but it’s so heartbreaking to not know when I will be able to see them again.”
Ms Moyo said the Cairns community had been very welcoming to her and helped her get through the past few months.
“I love Cairns, and I love my job. I’ve met some wonderful compassionate people who have helped to keep me going through all of this. People here have been very open-hearted and open minded.”
Pro Active Physiotherapy owner Julie Faulks said it had been a pleasure employing Ms Moyo whose skills were highly sought-after.
“Experienced physiotherapists are very thin on the ground in Australia, and when I interviewed Ms Moyo she was the perfect candidate. She had completed all the necessary exams and background checks to work in Australia, so I had no hesitation about sponsoring her to come and work for us,” said Pro Active Physiotherapy owner Julie Faulks.
“Africa has a high standard of training for physiotherapists and Rejoice’s experience makes her an asset.
“She’s a lovely person and her patients here just adore her. We’ll all be overjoyed if she can be reunited with her family.”
It was Ms Moyo’s colleagues who suggested that she start a Go Fund Me campaign, which to date has raised $3600 of a $25,000 goal. To donate, search for “Rejoice Moyo” on www.gofundme.com