SSI News Blog

Budding young green thumbs of mostly Afghani background have given gardening a go and created a small community garden at the Auburn Diversity Services Inc. (ADSi) offices with the help of SSI’s Friendship Garden ambassador, Muthana.

Some of the youth from ADSi at the Auburn Friendship Garden with their geraniums to take home.

Budding young green thumbs recently created a small community garden at the Auburn Diversity Services Inc. (ADSi) offices. Giving gardening a go for the first time for many, a small group of young people of mostly Afghani background built a garden space with SSI’s Friendship Garden ambassador, Muthana.

Whilst the group started out with little interest in gardening, Muthana soon got them warmed up, imparting his many years of horticulture experience gained in Iraq, his country of birth. The charismatic Muthana spoke passionately about the different varieties of plants and herbs he grows, and demonstrated planting techniques before the young people were soon actively doing it themselves!

During this time the youth also shared a piece of their culture as they spoke about geranium flowers being typically grown in Afghanistan. Everyone also learned the names of the plants and flowers in Arabic and Dari.
After the gardening session, the group was introduced to the Friendship Garden located at the Auburn Centre for Community. The young people were invited to pick and eat mulberries from the trees and were given a piece of the garden – geraniums – to take home to their families. They enjoyed themselves so much they didn’t want to leave!

Auburn Diversity Services Inc. (ADSi) is a community based, non-profit organisation established to promote the principles of multiculturalism, access, equity and social justice. ADSi runs a branch of the Youth Transition Support Program (YTSP) which is funded by the Department of Social Services and led by the Community Migrant Resources Centre. Funding assists migrant youth in the areas of employment, vocational opportunities, education and sports engagement. 

The Friendship Garden in Auburn is a SSI community engagement initiative in partnership with Cumberland Council. The garden welcomes people from diverse backgrounds, languages and ability to work together to build an inclusive and cohesive community. Since 2015, the Friendship Gardeners have transformed barren, disused land to be a green space for community, full of life, vegetables, flowers and friendships. Gardening days occur every Thursday from 9:30am – 12:30pm, with a playgroup for young children every second Wednesday between 10am – 12pm. The garden is located at the Auburn Centre for Community, 44A Macquarie Rd, Auburn.

Success stories

Four Brave Women: Summer Hill café empowers refugee entrepreneurs

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenFour Brave Women is open for business!

Developed as a joint initiative between The Trading Circle, a division of the charity Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, and SSI, Four Brave Women is a café and community space where refugees have the opportunity to create a sustainable income for themselves using their culinary skills. It is a creative and inclusive space that celebrates different cultures through food and art.

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