It’s one thing to pay back a loan or help out someone who’s done the same for you. It’s another thing to pay back more than $18,000 of welfare money you received. That’s what Sam Eisho, an Iraqui man, did for the Australian government, according to the country’s Business Insider.
Eisho allegedly walked into the Centrelink office in Maroubra, Aus., and attempted to give the staff a check for more than $18,000 (just over $16,500 United States dollars), equaling roughly the amount of welfare he’d received between 1999 and 2001.
Now, Eisho owns a successful construction company. But when he arrive in Australia, he was a poor refugee who nearly lost his life in an Iraqi prison. According to Business Inquirer:
“Travelling into Kurdistan, the autonomous region which encompasses parts of Eastern Turkey and Northern Iraq — where Eisho is from — the guards decided they wanted his cash, a small amount of money he needed to complete the journey to see his family. Enraged, he scrunched the notes — emblazoned with the face of the now-executed dictator — and threw them into the dirt at his feet. He was led away and locked in a room. And if he had not seen a solider he knew from university, who pleaded for his life, Eisho is sure he would have been killed.”
When Eisho arrived in Australia, he borrowed $25,000 from his aunt in the United States to start a construction company, and by 2008, his business was booming. That’s when he decided to donate his welfare money back. His check, sent to the country’s Collector of Public Money, was returned, but he eventually donated the money along with around $60,000 to hospitals and schools.
According to Business Insider, “While he will always feel indebted for the financial assistance that helped make him, Eisho said the main reason he gives so much, is the care his wife received when she gave birth, in Australia, to the couple’s daughter — and the contrast to the health care system in his homeland.”
“Here, they treat a human being like a human being,” he said.