The Victorian Arabic Social Services provides a range of programs and activities for young people which include sporting activities, mentoring, leadership courses, social engagement activities, radio and television programs, camps and trips and activities which aim to strengthen relationships between young people, their communities and service providers.
These programs strengthen young peoples life skills, employment prospects, education, self development, fosters positive body and self image, healthy lifestyles as well as community engagement. Projects and activities include:
- Young Women’s Body Image and Leadership Program
- Healthy Lifestyle Camp for Young Women
- Youth Radio
- Television Program
- Youth Soccer
- Pathways to Employment: Re-engaging Youth at Work funded by Department of Innovation, Industry & Regional Development
- Health Fitness and Wellbeing funded by ANZ Felton Request
- Body Image and Self Esteem funded by the ANZ Trustees
- Keeping it Real: Men’s Body Image funded by the Department of Planning and Community Development
- Peace Building Through Art funded by EastWeb
- Victorian Arabic Young Achievers used to recruit peer leaders, funded by VicHealth
- Young Australian Arabic Men for Crime Prevention funded by the Australian Multicultural Foundation
Kalam Arabic Australian Youth Television
Kalam Arabic Australian Youth Television (KAAYT) will air on SBS and promote the many talents and vibrant nature of the Arabic youth culture to the wider Australian community. The KAAYT program will promote various aspects of Australian Arabic youth culture, and will include guest interviews, live performance, vox pops, a traditional Arabic cooking segment, news stories relevant to Arabic Australian youth, segments highlighting specific Arabic countries and sport. KAAYT is a ground breaking program designed to change stereotypes of Arabic Australians, through providing Arabic Australian youth access to the Australian media. This is crucial to combating cultural disharmony in Australia, perpetuated by misrepresentations and widespread negative coverage of the Arabic diaspora within the mainstream media.
Almousawat: A Fair Go (Musharakatuna: Our Contribution) youth mentoring and capacity building
- Youth Participation and Access (YPA) Program from the Office for Youth, Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development
- The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund
The Almousawat program provided ‘A Fair Go’ to young people from ASB who often lack the same opportunities as their peers. These programs and initiatives combined mentoring and capacity building. The success of these initiatives stems from engaging and supporting disengaged youth, asylum seekers and refugees, and in particular those who have experienced marginalization and racism. This program has assisted over 400 young people
Victorian Arabic Young Achievers
The Victorian Arabic Young Achievers achieved a range of goals in connecting Arabic youth to the mainstream services and provided professionals skills. Youth were linked to emergency services such as Lifesaving Victoria, Victoria Police, Ambulance and the Fire Brigade which encouraged and provided insight into these industries, regular soccer tournaments and personal development workshops to encourage growth and skills development.
Keep it Real
Funded by the Department of Planning, through the Office of Youth
In 2008, 48 young people between the ages of 12-25 participated in the project which aimed to encourage young men to share and develop knowledge about body image and related issues such as steroid use, healthy eating and positive lifestyle. The young men participated in cooking classes, soccer matches, discussion groups, Youth Beatz Festival in Moreland, and created a board game which be used by schools and community organizations as a fun educational tool to develop other young peoples knowledge about body image.
Arabic Youth Radio: 3al Hawa and Shabab Sawa
The Arabic Youth Community Radio are ongoing radio programs that aim to engage Arabic youth. The two programs provide youth with a public forum to voice their opinions and ideas. 3al Hawa aims to engage Arabic youth including those who are disadvantaged or marginalized and raise awareness of current issues through community talk-back. Presenters are encouraged to research areas relating to youth that are interested in and to discuss the issues and solutions during the show. They also discuss current news and events and advertise VASS events. On the second Sunday of every month a special hip hop segment hosted by Phillip Pandongan from Anti Racism Action Band.
The Shabab Sawa program features material relating to Arabic youth culture. The program includes interviews and the latest in popular Arab music. The radio program not only provides a public forum for Arab youth to speak out, but also gives them the opportunity to volunteer a free training program in order to educate and encourage youth to be a part of this program, and to date has trained eight volunteers.
Giving youth greater opportunities is a guiding principle for the Victorian Arabic Social Services, and we are pleased to receive recent testimonials. VASS with 3zzz Arabic Youth managed to be named as an active medium in the Arab Film Festival in Sydney. Khadija Alnoufali was able to meet directors from the United Arabic Emirates and others celebrating the event. Although she has resigned from radio, Khadija still is grateful for and proud of her association with VASS. She recalls her first day with VASS which was the ‘start’ of her career, saying it was ‘the start of a new me’, illustrating VASS’ ongoing commitment to youth services and engagement. For more information please contact:
Connie Tira on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pathways to Employment: Re-engaging Youth at Work project is funded by the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, Workforce Victoria. The project assists youth of Arabic Speaking Background to gain sustainable employment by assisting them to undertake prevocational training, pre and post employment support and offering mentoring and peer support.
Young Women Body Image and Self Esteem
Funded by ANZ Trustees Program – Charitable purposes in Victoria Leigh and Majorie Bronwyn Murray Trust and Mitchell Brazier Fund
Young Women’s Body Image and Self Esteem assisted young, ‘at risk’ ASB girls in schools in learning how to empower themselves, and have their voices heard. Participants developed team work and problem solving skills, learnt more about themselves and others, developed good communication skills,made friends, were encouraged to express themselves in creative ways and much more. Young Women’s Body Image and Self Esteem provided a safe environment for the young girls to articulate issues that concern them, and offered them support in culturally sensitive ways.
Young Australian Arabic Men for Crime Prevention
Funded by the Australian Multicultural Foundation
Young Australian Arabic Men for Crime Prevention ran in conjunction with the Victorian Police. The project achieved its aims by strengthening relationships between Arabic and Islamic youth and the Victorian Police through both cultural cross training and youth activities. The outcomes of the project included: 17 young men attended the Young Men’s Leadership and Advocacy Group whereby they took part in leadership activities and workshops by Victorian Police, 20 youth attended the Police Academy in Glen Waverly and spent a day with local police at the Broadmeadows Police Station, 12 young people were invited to attend the Victorian Police Multifaith dinner and meet with a diverse range of Police Officers.
Peace Building Through Art
Funded by EastWeb
Peace Building Through Art ran a series of workshops overseen by an art therapist. They provided a space in which Arabic youth adversely affected by the conflict in Palestine could express themselves creatively through stencil art. The pieces produced during the project by the 10 participants were then displayed across Victoria, including the Melbourne Immigration Museum and Phoenix Youth Centre Gallery in Footscray
Speaking Out Against Racism (SOAR)
Funded by the Helen MacPherson Smith Trust
SOAR was an initiative that focused on building understanding of cultural diversity among young people through building on school resources and there dealings with racism and celebrating positive aspects of cultural and religious diversity. Lyndale Secondary College in the South East was the site for the initiative. Three major milestones were reached over the course of the project:
- Three year nine classes, along with teachers, were surveyed to discover the overall feeling of the school in relation to racial sentiment
- Seven workshop sessions, involving approximately 300 students from year nine and ten were held, focusing on perceptions, stereotypes and dealing with racism
- A cultural festival was held involving the entire school. Each year nine class created a display in their classroom representing their country of choice and its culture, food, language, dress etc
The Victorian Arabic Social Services was developed to reduce gaps in recreational activities for young people in the Northern Regions of Melbourne. The program specifically used soccer as a recreational activity due to evaluative findings from recent VASS Expo and other youth services that many young people have a key interest in the game but did not know or could not afford to access clubs. Over 50 young people engaged in the Soccer V Championship and 10 young women attended the Darebin City Council All Nations Girls Soccer Tournament.
Stay Cool: Think before you drink
Stay Cool: Think before you drink addressed issues around binge drinking in communities. Through education and information sessions for both youth and parents, the development of resource materials in Arabic, staff training, family and youth counseling and referrals and preventative strategies for youth which promote resilience and social inclusion through sport , performing arts and related activities. This was in partnership with Moreland Hall Drug and Alcohol Treatment Agency and youth support services such as School Focused Youth Services which has played a key role in educating the ASB community about issues around underage drinking.
Anti – Racism Action Band (A.R.A.B)
The Anti Racism Action Band is a community development youth performing and visual arts project with a long term vision for participating youth, their families, schools and local communities. The program is a proactive initiative which aims to raise self-esteem increase confidence, challenge racial tensions and promote social inclusion whilst imparting performance, technical and life skills upon participants. A.R.A.B also offers employment and mentoring opportunities. The program works with 200 young people from 50 cultural backgrounds across 12 schools and community partners in the northern region. It works with up to 15 different performing and visual art forms at any one time and has an annual audience reach of between 15,000 – 20,000
For more information about A.R.A.B please visit the www.arab-vass.com website.