Pictured: LiveWires participants with Koori facepaint designs at Federation Square.
Imagine being spat on as you travel up the lift of where you live. Imagine being told, every day, to “Go back to where you come from.” That is what is happening right now to young African women who are living in the Collingwood Housing Estate in front of their children.
It happened to Hafina*, 26, who is a South Sudanese single mother of Latisha*, 10, Muhammed*, 9 and Fatima*, 7 who all joined LiveWires this year, after being on a waiting list for six months.
At a recent Collingwood network partnership meeting, police told us this is a critical issue they are trying to address. They tell us that many of the different African communities are being adversely affected by negative media.
Hafina* tells us she is sometimes scared for her safety and for her children as they go upstairs in the lift, but they always feel safe at our LiveWires after school care program.
Through LiveWires we celebrate diversity and ensure all the children respect each other with dignity and love. We teach values that promote acceptance, tolerance, resilience, patience, inclusion and diversity.
We have opportunities to celebrate and acknowledge the many diverse ethnic cultures that take part and participate in LiveWires, including Aboriginal, Australian, Armenian, Chinese, Eritrean, Fijian, Iraqi, Malaysian, Oromo, South Sudanese and Vietnamese children who are living in the estate.
Through LiveWires we help to bring the whole community together and to create a sense of belonging, hope and pride in culture and community. “LiveWires has changed my childrens’ behaviour. They have started eating better.
They are more outgoing and their attitudes have changed for the better”- Hafina.*
Through LiveWires we involve families in activities so that they too can have a better understanding of the rich traditions of the many diverse cultures and communities.
We ensure that we make families feel included and invite them to come along and participate in a full range of cultural activities, such as shared dinners, harvest picnics, African drumming, Aboriginal boomerang painting, hip hop dance and holiday outings.
We provide children with a nutritious after school snack, a healthy evening meal, prepared by the children with the help of volunteers, and they get to take home fresh producefor their families.
We seek your generous support and financial donation to enable us to continue to provide LiveWires two days per week for children living at Collingwood Housing Estate.
We want them to have free access, to feel included in the community, to have a seat at the table, and have full participation to share in conversations at the table and enjoy the fullness of life.
Thank you for your generosity, grace and good will.
To support our End of Financial Year Appeal please make an online donation below.
For more information about our work, discuss our impact, or find out how you can be more involved, contact Jo Thitchener, Communication and Relationship Manager on 03 9470 2972 or 0452 249 450.
*Names have been changed for privacy.