SSI News Blog

A program run collaboratively by Illawarra Multicultural Services (IMS) and Anglicare is helping young refugee women think inside and outside the box.

A box made by a member of the Illawarra Girls Group during an exercise on strengths and identity

A box made by a member of the Girls Group during an exercise on strengths, identity
and their “outside” and “inside” selves.

During adolescence, girls continue to develop very important skills in learning and living.

Teenage girls love to belong to communities, both at school and with their families.

Belonging to communities can, however, be challenging as well. Schoolwork can be stressful and new experiences and expectations can be daunting.

After school each Wednesday afternoon in April, IMS and Anglicare ran a Girls Group for young women aged 12-16

The aim was to help the young women from refugee backgrounds develop skills to enable them to face challenges, solve problems and seek support from family and others.

To develop these skills, the Girls Group provided opportunities for participants to spend time with other young women their own age, exploring and identifying personal and group strengths, hopes and values.

The Girls Group was facilitated by three adult women trained and qualified to work with adolescents.

Using what was learned about the participants after the four-week program, organisers hope to continue the Girls Group and modify its mode of delivery based on the strengths, interests and needs of the young women.

Success stories

Bassam Maaliki, a 14-year-old student wins Youth Community Medal at NSW Premier’s Harmony Dinner

Bassam Maaliki, Youth Community Award Winner with The Hon. Ray Williams MP and Jada Mathyssen-Whyman goalkeeper for Western Sydney Wanderers.Bassam Maaliki, a 14-year-old student at Homebush Bay High School and founder of the social change campaign #uBelong, was announced winner of the Youth Medal at the NSW Premier’s Harmony Dinner on 21 March 2018.

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