Australian citizenship classes
AWOV conduct bi-annual excursion trips for Afghan women and girls to key Victorian sites such as Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Zoo, National Gallery of Victoria etc. These excursions foster social awareness, community connection and the provision of educational opportunities.
AWOV have been running citizenship classes for newly arrived women for over 5 years. We facilitate classes on Australian history, culture and language, conduct mock citizenship tests and practice answers for the sitting of the Australian citizenship test. Through this program we have been able to assist over 80 women in receiving their Australian citizenship.
Literacy Centre Project
In 2014, AWOV opened a Literacy Centre in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan. This project is very active and has empowered many women and girls who are victims of war and oppression. The women and girls at the Literacy Centre undertake literacy classes to ensure that they receive the basic rights to education and empowerment. Since it's inception, we have had over 150 women and girls graduate from our literacy program.
Within the Charity and Literacy Centre in Kabul, AWOV have piloted and successfully deliver a microfinance project for widowed and vulnerable women to have access to their own finances, gain financial literacy and contribute comprehensively within society and for their families. Our participants in the microfinance project conduct various projects such as dressmaking, jam and chutney making, sewing etc.
Annual Camping Trips
Eid and New Year Events
Each year AWOV take Afghan women on a camping trip to Balnarring in Regional Victoria. The camping trips harbour social connectivity amongst women and provide them with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with Australian wildlife, flora and fauna. Within these camping trips, AWOV conduct information sessions on 'Respectful Relationships', parenting, leadership and environmental sustainability.
Since 2011, AWOV have been running annual Eid and New Year events for women and children. This event often takes place twice a year and has shown great success, as their is an average of 500 attendees. A vast majority of the women who attend these events are new to Australia and our social events enable them to achieve a sense of inclusion and social connection. Our events comprise of various forms of entertainment ranging from live music, jumping castles, face painting and henna stalls, fashion shows, competitions and food. 100% of ticketing sales are utilised towards our aid programs such as our Ramadan appeal, emergency relief etc.
Food packages for Afghan refugees
When AWOV heard of the evacuation process of Afghan nationals and refugees in August, we promptly collaborated with the Victorian State Government to create over 600 culturally appropriate food/care packages to support their transition into Australia during hotel quarantine. The food packages were well received by all families and individuals in hotel quarantine. AWOV will work to support and assist the transition of our newly arrived Afghans into Australia.
Each year during December and January, AWOV take a group of mothers and daughters to Sorrento Beach in Portsea, Victoria. These excursions are a fun day out, with families mingling, enjoying food and summer weather. Partnerships with Lifesaving Victoria also take place to inform Afghan women about water safety.
Water Safety for new arrivals
AWOV is currently running weekly senior clubs for Afghan senior's in the South-East region of Victoria. It is currently held in Dandenong, with approximately 50 participants. We run information sessions on healthcare, COVID-19, wellbeing, access to services, and have started the technology use classes in partnership with the BeConnected program. Our participants have received tablet devices of their own to utilise as means of technology and social inclusion. Our senior club involves, exercise sessions, lunch, board games, information sessions and most importantly fosters a socially inclusive environment for our participants. For more info call 1300 846 799.
Within the last few months AWOV ran two water safety programs with newly arrived Afghans at Brighton and Altona Beach. This water safety program was in collaboration with LifeSaving Victoria as a means of addressing the community concerns with water safety and knowledge. The water safety programs were a fun day out at the beach with information provision on Australian beaches and waters, how to detect dangers, how to be safe in water and more.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Life classes
Following the mental health repercussions of COVID-19, AWOV in partnership with life coach Humaira Ansari ran an 8 week online session on mindfulness, self-confidence, healthy lifestyles, wellness and mental health for Afghan women, men and girls.
COVID-19 Care Packs
Within the last year, AWOV have packaged and distributed COVID-19 care packs to the Afghan community in Melbourne. Embedded within the care packs, AWOV provided information booklets on relevant COVID-19 information and resources. Hand sanitizers, re-usable and disposable masks, and gloves were provided to all recipients.