Advanced Swimming Program

24 young persons aged between 10-15, 11 girls and 13 boys – representing the South Sudanese and Somali Community, completed the program. The program was designed for those who had obtained the highest rankings at the sessions held by HARDA for several years during January holidays.

HARDA’s ambition is to progress the better swimmers into becoming life savers and/or swimming instructors. This would greatly raise the capacity of the communities. The program produced excellent outcomes.

  • 8 youth obtained their bronze medallions, thus qualifying to become life savers when old enough to pass the exams.
  • 3 youths obtained their bronze star.
  • The other participants progressed well enough to pass and can look forward to getting their medallion status next year.

Congratulations to all the swimmers for their excellent attitude and application, thank you to the parents for their great support and thanks to the Sydney Motor Corporation for the grant to enable the program.

2018 Swim, Survive and Socialise Program

HARDA (Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency of Australia) conducted a ‘Swim, Survive and Socialise’  program in January  2018 .

A total of 86 boys and girls enrolled, aged between 6 and 15 years old, larger than any previous swim program done by HARDA. The main idea behind this program is to create a positive social environment for kids to learn vital skills.  New sessions were added  this year especially  water safety education programs for parents. Most of the parents attended. Dummies were used for demonstration purposes and every one had a go.

The children greatly benefited from this program by making new friends and socialising with their peers in the pool and on the bus trip, not forgetting the new level of confidence for those in the pool for the first time. This is a great program for children; it teaches them to swim, be active, healthy, and have fun during their holidays.

We would like to thank DOOLEYs, Lidcome Catholic Club and Sydney Motorway Corporation for their support of this project. Well done to the children and their parents for making it another successful program, and have fun during their holidays

African Youth and CALD Soccer Tournament and Community Festival 2016

HARDA (Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency of Australia) successfully conducted an African Youth and CALD Soccer Tournament and Community Festival in 2016. The purpose of this event was to celebrate our cultural diversity and bring our diverse African and CALD communities together in order to showcase the benefits of cultural diversity, promoting social cohesion and community harmony. The African and CALD Youth Soccer Tournament and Community Festival contributed to the development of an appreciation for cultural diversity within football (soccer) and the wider community.

The African and CALD Youth Soccer Tournament and Community Festival took place from Oct – Dec 2016 at Progress Park, Auburn, NSW. A group of 20 young people aged between 18-24 from Western Sydney region travelled to Melbourne in December 2016 to further participate in the annual Australian Somali Football Association (ASFA) tournament. The Sydney youth were victorious in winning the Open Men’s competition.

We would like to thank the Multicultural NSW for their support in this project.

Here is the highlights video for the 2016 United through Football Festival video:

2016 African and CALD Youth Mentoring Outreach Program

HARDA, in-conjunction with Auburn Sports Club, again ran its successful African and CALD Youth Mentoring Program for African and CALD youth from the Western and South-Western Sydney region. This program was initiated due to the lack of access to culturally appropriate mentoring, health and sporting workshops, which we believed was a major barrier for newly arrived refugees, migrants and CALD youth.

HARDA successfully engaged with young African and CALD participants to develop a leadership/mentoring program with the support of the local community elders, youth centres and law enforcement agencies e.g. NSW Police and the AFP. These were run alongside weekly soccer sessions attended by the youth.

The successful outcomes of the African and CALD Youth Mentoring Project were:

  1. Improved social cohesion and harmony amongst African and CALD young people through our peer to peer mentoring and soccer program
  2. Networks created and relationships built between young people of culturally diverse communities
  3. Better resilience against racism
  4. Increased intergenerational understanding in culturally diverse communities

We would like to thank Multicultural NSW and in particular the Unity Grant funding for their support for this very successful project. The Program culminated in an African Youth and CALD Soccer Tournament and Community Festival.

2016 Coogee beach fun

Our busload of kids, parents and volunteers headed to Coogee beach to meet up with the families from Kids Giving Back for the final session of the program. It was a great relief that the day was fine after the Bondi beach experience earlier in the year.

After some beach games everyone, kids and parents, attended a workshop at the club where they learnt lots about beach water safety prior to getting in the water – the kids were saying ‘white water good, green bad’ in the bus on the way home! The water safety component was particularly good for the HARDA group, most of whom have little beach experience.

After the safety session everyone headed down to the beach. The kids, full of toe hopping excitement & some trepidation, had such fun in the waves with the wonderful lifesavers from Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club. Each life saver took a child in each hand which was such wonderful as it allowed the more adventurous to venture out safely and the more timid to take their time and overcome their nerves and get their confidence in the waves. Both the lifesavers and the kids had a great time and our kids learnt lots from these wonderful Australian role models.

After the beach it was a mad rush to get everyone fed and back on the bus for the trip home. Many thanks to our partners, Kids Giving Back, for arranging such a fun day, which was enjoyed by our families and theirs. We both believe that the program has increased the mutual understand of two quite diverse and disparate groups involved, where the kids saw how many more similarities there were between them than the differences.

2016 Fish & Chips on Bondi beach Mar

The first session of our new Connecting communities program was planned to be an afternoon of fun games on Bondi beach with the families from our partner and host organisation Kids Giving Back (KGB). The kids were very much looking forward to a play and paddle and fish and chips together on Bondi beach – a real Australian experience!  Unfortunately that was not to be with storms and heavy rain closing the beach and drenching us all. However the very resourceful KGB had booked the local hall and had lots indoor games planned as a backup and everyone had a great deal of fun.

There were some amusing moments as some of the ladies had to hand over their very wet cloths to the laundromat across the road to be dried. It was great that everyone shared the humour in the situation and it was a good bonding experience along with the yummy and large amounts of shared fish and chips. We also changed the third session from a pool party in Western Sydney to a beach day in Coogee so that the kids from a Horn of Africa background could get their promised day on the beach.

2016 Cooking together

We held the second of three sessions of our Connecting Communities Program in August. This 3 part program is providing a great opportunity for Horn of Africa families to connect with other Australian communities and share new and exciting experiences.

One pleasant winter Sunday in August, 36 of us headed to a community kitchen in Bondi for a cooking & dining experience. This included 23 South Sudanese kids aged between 7 & 13, and 10 family members accompanied by 3 HARDA volunteers including Lugi, our wonderful Italian Chef. There we met the Kids Giving Back (KGB) friends we made at the first session (who can forget the torrential rain on Bondi beach that day!). They had generously organised the kitchen and supplied the ingredients to make the event possible.

Cooking is a great way to share congeniality and this was no exception, with the families from both groups donning aprons and cutting and chopping and cooking up a storm. The Australian contribution was meat pies and in exchange, led by Kristina, Asunta & Margret, everyone learnt to cook a typical South Sudanese dish, a meat & okra stew with semolina. The older kids enjoyed helping while the younger ones made bread and cookies and decorated the pavlovas for our feast afterwards

New land New Life

New Land, New Life, tells the inspiring firsthand stories of five refugees from the Horn of Africa who’ve settled in Australia and made a new life for themselves in a new land.
NB subtitles can be viewed by switching on the captions button on the bottom menu bar.

New Land, New Life was funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship under the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program.

2015 Job Search Program

HARDA in partnership with Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre and trainer HARDA Job Search Post Training Activity Mohammed Sabsabi (DDM3 Consulting), have just completed the first phase of a pilot Job Training Program: 10 training sessions to assist people from a Horn of African background 20yrs and over to obtain the knowledge and skills to assist them to seek and gain employment. The training was tailored to the individual knowledge, skills and experience and career aspirations of each of the 11 job seeking participants.

The training program was designed to help participants to:

  • Use their existing knowledge, skills and experience to find their ideal job
  • Learn to use different strategies and tools to look for job opportunities
  • Learn how to increase your network contacts within the field you want to be employed
  • Learn how to write a personalised resume and cover letter for each job you apply for
  • Learn what employers expect of you and what you should expect from employers
  • Learn effective inter skills and techniques

As a result of the training program participants now have

  • Their own job search plan and clear career goals
  • Their own customized resume and covering letter
  • A checklist of the key interview questions and key responses
  • Strategies to promote their skills and experience to employers
  • Confidence to seek and apply for jobs that meet your career goals

To acknowledge their commitment to the program each participate received a certificate of completion and to celebrate this achievement HARDA and project partner Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre help a Picnic and day of Soccer at Chipping Norton Lakes (See photos).

Phase two of the project; a 10 week mentoring program has just begun. The program aims to connect job seekers to mentors to provide individual support to follow on the completion of the job training.   The role of the mentors will be to support job seekers to look for work and progress towards their career, education and life aspirations. Mentors will be matched with a job seeker and provide regular support (via phone and/or email and face to face depending on what works for the mentor and job seeker). The aim of the mentoring component is to encourage the job seekers to keep motivated and committed to using the skills they have gained in their training to look for job opportunities and provide post-employment support until the program concludes in November 2015. The mentors will also support job seekers to link with professional networks and attend professional networking events.