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annecto has partnered with the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights and the Afghan Women’s Organisation of Victoria to host Happy Nowruz, a celebration of Afghan New Year on Friday 25 March 2016. 

Five hundred Afghani women and their children are expected to attend the event, which will be held at Menzies Hall in Dandenong.

Farida Bezhan, a Case Manager with annecto, works closely with the Afghan community in Melbourne’s East.  “We are connecting with families who have older relatives, who need culturally appropriate aged care and home care support,” explains Farida.

“Cultural and language barriers mean that older people in this community are missing out on the care they need.  Many of the children and grandchildren learn to speak English and the grandparents no longer understand. They are isolated from their own families because of the language barrier,” explains Farida.

“This event gives Afghani women and their young children a place to socialise, celebrate, dance, eat and have fun together, in a safe and culturally appropriate way,” said Farida.

Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs are estimated to have more than 12,000 people who originated from Afghanistan, and are either refugees or now settled here in Australia.

A thriving community made up of Afghan refugees who settled here prior to 2013 most of whom hold jobs, own businesses and have largely settled in well to the community.  The other part of the community are those who have arrived post 2013, not legally able to work in this country and whose future is uncertain.

annecto connects people with culturally appropriate services that help them to live a more connected and happy life.

Farida helps members of the community with aged care and home care packages. “We have people who we provide transport to so they can attend medical appointments. I have a group of women who we help to attend social activities such as a weekly sewing club and community kitchen in Dandenong.” 

This group of 15 – 20 women, are typical in that they don’t speak English and are isolated from the community.  Attending the weekly sewing club or community kitchen gives them a social connection and helps them to feel more empowered and confident about living and socializing in their community. annecto provides transport so these women can safely attend their weekly activities and appointments and improve their ability to connect with others in the community.

“We also offer support to older people who need help around their homes.  Some might need a hand with cleaning and others with gardening. We have Afghani workers who can speak their language and understand the culture, to provide this assistance,” explains Farida. 

For further information please contact Jodie Henry on 0428 512 866

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