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

Simon Shahin: The road from Syria to Australia

Former refugee Simon Shahin standing in front of a tree.From the first day I arrived in Australia, it felt like home. Everyone gets homesick sometimes, but if you have goals and dreams, it constantly drives you forward and takes your mind off the past.

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