Decade cel­e­brated Ben Smith

MILE­STONE FOR SET­TLE­MENT PRO­GRAM

Comment News (Armadale) - - News -

SAVE The Chil­dren’s It Takes a Vil­lage pro­gram has cel­e­brated 10 years of help­ing refugees set­tle in Aus­tralia.

The pro­gram has been op­er­at­ing in Perth’s south­east metropoli­tan re­gion since 2007 and has helped about 2500 peo­ple in the Gos­nells and Ar­madale area feel com­fort­able in their new home since it be­gan.

Re­gional man­ager Liza Beinart said es­tab­lish­ing so­cial con­nec­tions was crit­i­cal to im­mi­grants feel­ing at ease in their new home.

“Once fam­i­lies have a con­nec­tion to some­body who lives out­side the fam­ily home, there is an abil­ity to solve prob­lems which doesn’t ex­ist oth­er­wise,” she said.

“Whether that be an is­sue around do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, their chil­dren be­ing bul­lied at school, not un­der­stand­ing how to read a recipe or how to take money out of the bank, if you have a friend you can phone who can as­sist you, it in­creases well­be­ing enor­mously.”

Ms Beinart said women in par­tic­u­lar strug­gled to adapt.

“The women in par­tic­u­lar are ex­tremely so­cially iso­lated. It’s very dif­fi­cult for them to nav­i­gate pub­lic trans­port by them­selves, en­rol their chil­dren in schools, com­mu­ni­cate with their teach­ers, deal with the trauma they’ve ex­pe­ri­enced and make friends and so­cial net­works,” she said.

Ms Beinart said she found it per­son­ally re­ward­ing to be a part of the pro­gram and share in the joy of each new suc­cess.

“I find it ex­tra­or­di­nary to see each per­son’s in­di­vid­ual story a suc­cess, whether that ends up in them join­ing nurs­ing, just be­com­ing more con­fi­dent in English or nav­i­gat­ing a bus sys­tem by them­selves so they can go visit a friend,” she said.

It Takes a Vil­lage vol­un­teers and par­tic­i­pants at their 10th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

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