Making a difference to children living in poverty

Muhammad Maarj

Muhammad Maarj is a former asylum seeker helping to change the lives of disadvantaged and orphaned children living in poverty. He’s also a CSU Student Ambassador studying a Bachelor of Podiatric Medicine in Albury-Wodonga.

When he was five years old, Muhammad Maarj arrived in Australia with his family as an asylum seeker from Iraq. Now, he studies a Bachelor of Podiatric Medicine at CSU in Albury-Wodonga and is focused on giving back to communities, both in Australia and Iraq.

After his first year of uni, Muhammad put his hand up to become a Student Ambassador, showing people around CSU on campus tours.

“I have loved every second of being a Student Ambassador because I was on the receiving end of all this not so long ago and I can really say ‘I was in your shoes’ to the students, and I like being able to help them get to know the University,” he said.

Muhammad Maarj working with ICARE in IraqMuhammad has also been fundraising and volunteering to help disadvantaged and orphaned children living in poverty in his home country of Iraq. In December 2014, he travelled to Iraq and worked with Iraqi Children’s Aid and Repair Endeavour (ICARE) on individual and community projects, including humanitarian, dental and medical services where they were needed most.

After graduation, he plans to return to his home town of Cobram in Victoria to open his own podiatry clinic and is organising a mission trip to Iraq.

Muhammad views helping others as a privilege.

“My father taught me at a young age that there are two parts that make a human happy and successful,” he said.

“Not going hungry is one; so having a good job, feeding yourself and your family. Secondly, and what many people miss, is feeding your soul. The only way to do that is by giving to others.

“So many people diminish what they can do as a single person and how much they can help. In the Qur’an it says if you help one human being, it’s like helping all of humanity.

“From my point of view, every child deserves to have the opportunity to live a happy, safe childhood. If I can assist one child to have a better future, I will consider myself to be a successful human being.”

This Foundation Day, we’re celebrating the work CSU students, staff and alumni are doing in their communities, and how they’re living well in a world worth living in.

Yindyamarra Winhanganha: The wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in.