2023 Update

2023 has been an amazing year for HARDA. It has been 20 years since our late founder Hassan Omar started HARDA to serve and empower the East African community in Australia. We are certain he would be proud of what HARDA has accomplished in the past 20 years serving the local African Australian community.

In January, HARDA volunteer Fiona Carr organised another session of our flagship ‘Swim Survive and Socialise’ Program at Seven Hills. Over 100 children took part in the two week learn-to-swim school holiday program. We were proud to announce that a number of our past participants have become swim instructors themselves and we look forward to continuing the program in January 2024 and beyond.

The Jobs for African Migrants Program achieved new heights thanks to our new employment coordinator Vanessa. Her commitment and leadership brought new energy to the program that has helped numerous women to find stable employment. Vanessa also started a youth employment project, targeting young African jobseekers and school leavers as they aim to enter employment. Vanessa was assisted by an intern from ACU Jessica, who was instrumental in delivering the program. We were sad to say goodbye to Jessica as she moved on to pursue her career in teaching, but we are excited to have Sienna come on board as our new intern.

HARDA was recognised numerous times throughout the year: Clubs NSW awarded HARDA for our swimming program; Inner West local council recognised our President Sajjad Versi and our long-time Secretary Michael Muhlbauer during volunteer week; Commonwealth Bank Flemington Markets Branch awarded us a prize for our community work; and HARDA also received a highly-commended award for outstanding work with CALD young people.

Internationally, HARDA delivered two projects in Ethiopia: Sintayehu Haile (HARDA executive) fundraised among the community for the drought-affected Oromia region in Ethiopia; and Treasurer Girma Dabi organised the delivery of hospital beds to Ethiopia. In Kenya, HARDA and Global Aid Fund sponsored the tertiary education of a student named Nimo. We are proud to announce Nimo has completed her tertiary studies and is on track to fulfil her dream of becoming a doctor.

HARDA would like to thank all the funding bodies and sponsors for our various projects this year. We would also like to thank our community partner organisations who have assisted and collaborated on several projects.

HARDA would also like to acknowledge the Edmund Rice Centre for its continuous support over the last 20 years. ERC has provided HARDA with the office space we have needed for the last two decades.

HARDA would also like to thank the many volunteers who continue to give their time and energy to ensure our community continues to grow and prosper.

Finally, and most importantly, HARDA would like to thank our community for taking part in our programs and being involved since 2003. We look forward to celebrating and working together for many more years to come.