HARDA was very fortunate that the Scanlon Foundation provided an Emergency Support grant in a extremely short time frame in early August so that we could provide urgent assistance to community members experiencing severe hardship due to them or their families having contracted Covid, needing to be in isolation or due to the long lockdown. This help was provided by email in the form of Woolworths gift cards to enable contactless delivery of food and other urgently needed essentials. Information was also provided on the financial assistance available from the government, on Covid restrictions and requirements, on vaccinations and in some cases assistance was given with phone plans to help alleviate social isolation.
In October HARDA was fortunate to receive a grant from Multicultural NSW through their Empowering and Supporting Local Communities Program. This allowed us to continue to provide emergency supplies support as well as Covid and Vaccination information to members of our communities who were struggling to put food on the table due to the Covid pandemic. We also supplied 942 bottles (142lt) of hand sanitizer (sourced through Good360 Australia) and 8,000 masks to the South Sudanese and Somalia communities.
HARDA ran cultural nights annually from circa 2012 to 2014
These nights showcased African culture, food, dance, singing, art and crafts. Each year the function was attended by 200-400 people from the Horn of Africa and the wider community from Western Sydney as well as elders.
Supporters over the years have been STARTTS, ACL, Hills Holroyd Parramatta MRC, Multicultural Council, NSW Community Relations, among others.
The Cooking Pot Project was an unique and innovative program initiated by HARDA to help the African Australian women interact and share their experiences with the wider Australian community. A catalyst for integration and promotion of understanding, this cooking program allowed African migrant women to get together with Australian women to learn new dishes and get to know each other
The sessions were supervised by Chef Luigi De Luca who shared and guided the women during the process.
During the period of 6 weeks the women cooked not only traditional African recipes but also learnt to cook Japanese, Mexican, Italian and Egyptian cuisines. The women also visited the home of one of the participant were they learnt to cook some Egyptian and Italian food.
The Cooking Pot Project concluded with a lavish spread of food which included traditional African appetizers, main course and sweets along with other cuisines which was enjoyed by all at the Edmund Rice Center.
The project was a successful one with the women having an opportunity to learn something new and make new friends outside their own groups. The Cooking Pot Project was sponsored by Shell Clyde Refinery who supported the initiative.