Connecting Communities is an annual program consisting of a series of activities where kids from our communities and the Eastern suburbs get together to have fun and learn about each other in the process. It is run in partnership with Kids Giving Back, a not for profit organisation whose vision is to create a better more accepting society, based on empathy and understanding. Each year they organise a group of kids aged 7-12 from the Eastern suburbs to partake in three fun group activities with a group the same age from our HoA communities from the Western suburbs.
Started in 2016, this program is about increasing both communities understanding of each other, learning other’s stories, and fostering integration and social cohesion through fun shared activities. These have included rock climbing, trampolining, bowling and one year both the kids and parents cooked Australian and African dishes. The final session each year is a beach day hosted by Coogee Surf Club. After a beach safety session for all the lifesavers take the kids into the surf. The days are lots of fun and the kids love it.
Unfortunately due to covid we have been unable to run the program in the last couple of years.
2019 Connecting Communities (August 29, 2019) - This year’s program started in October with a day of indoor rock climbing in Villawood. The participants were paired up and either belayed each other or took turns climbing and encouraging each other. The second session in early November was a day of laser tag & bowling which all the kids much enjoyed. It was great to see them working together in mixed teams. As normal the final session of the program, one greatly looked forward to by the kids from our communities, took place at Coogee Beach in conjunction with the Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club Following sand games and… Read more 2018 Connecting Communities (November 14, 2018) - HARDA's partnership with 'Kids Giving Back' continues to flourish with children and parents of diverse cultural backgrounds enjoying various activities in the spirit of generosity. Here are images of two fun days in September and October 2018. A third day out at Coogee beach will take place in November. Thanks to all the parents and children and to the organisers from KGB. Read more Connecting Communities – Coogee Beach (November 2, 2018) - HARDA’s partnership with “Kids Giving Back’ continues to bring love and happiness to children from the Horn background. The third session of connecting communities is the Coogee beach one where children participated in water safety that was taught my life savers at the beach. Our major thanks goes to the organisers from KGB, and the Life savers from Coogee Surf Life Saving Club for their tremendous support and of course to all parents and children. Read more 2016 Coogee beach fun (September 5, 2016) - 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… Read more 2016 Fish & Chips on Bondi beach Mar (August 29, 2016) - 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… Read more 2016 Cooking together (August 5, 2016) - 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… Read more