MWASA ended the year 2020 with a Staff Retreat on the 14th of December. We started off with a review of our progress for the year and plans for the coming year.
Following that, MWASA’s staff, tutors and volunteers headed off to the restaurant for a very hearty lunch. After lunch, we proceeded to play a game where we had to write an adjective of each letter that best describes a MWASA team member’s name. Everyone wrote such beautiful descriptions of the person they got.
The team members then shared a few pieces of poetry which were very deep and meaningful. It was a good bonding session. Everyone had such a wonderful enjoying each other’s company. MWASA appreciates all the hard work and effort of the staff, tutors and volunteers.
She shared simple tips on how to enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods daily. She explained the 5 food groups, and how to meet daily energy needs and lower the risk of developing chronic health conditions. The seniors were very engaged and participative during the talk. In fact, a number of them approached Sister Zuhrah after the talk to express their excitement in learning how to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Following the talk, Sister Zuhrah demonstrated on how to prepare a simple and healthy Mediterranean Salad. She also prepared a delicious butternut squash and chicken soup served with bread rolls.
The seniors had a wonderful time during the demonstration session as they were able to observe how simple it is to include lots of colourful vegetables into their foods.
The 1st of October was the International Day of Older Persons. In conjunction with the event, MWASA organised a scenic cruise along the Torrens River on the Popeye for CHSP* seniors.
Proper social distancing and precautionary measures were adhered to throughout the activity. The seniors were assisted by the friendly guide and advised to sanitize prior to taking their seats on the boat. The cruise trip lasted for approximately 45 minutes. The seniors had a wonderful and joyful time cruising down the river while enjoying each other’s company.
After the cruise trip, the seniors enjoyed a leisure walk along the Torrens River up to the gazebo at the Elder Park. They had light snacks while basking in the sun.
They also did some stretching to improve their flexibility and ease the movement of their joints. The seniors felt really good after the light exercise, resulting in a positive mindset and relaxed body.
The seniors thoroughly enjoyed the activity and had a wonderful time with great company on that beautiful day!
Following the discussion with the SETS* mothers who expressed concern over their teen’s screen time, Natale Rudland Wood from the Dulwich Centre conducted a session with the youths on 7th of October 2020 to discuss healthier activities to replace screen time when they are at home.
Though it was a small group, the youth were very forthcoming with great ideas and requested to be involved in collating and presenting the Recipe of Life materials.
Subsequently, the youth participated in a Sandwich Art making activity, where they cut out their sandwiches into interesting shapes. They was also a demonstration on making healthy and delicious smoothies.
*SETS= Settlement Engagement and Transition Support
On 19th September 2020, MWASA organised a Social Saturday with Manal Younus for the SETS* youth as an introduction to the leadership program.
As an experienced facilitator, Manal inspired the youth to develop their ideas for leadership-building experience and the youths were excited to work on projects that they were passionate about. The youth thoroughly enjoyed the discussion with Manal.
*SETS= Settlement Engagement and Transition Support
During the period of home isolation, the seniors were unable to socialise with family and friends. They were unable to participate in the usual activities and events that keep them active and engaged. Thankfully, the South Australian Government did a fantastic job at slowing down the spread of COVID-19. Since the number of active cases have drastically reduced, the restrictions have eased.
Following this ease of restrictions in South Australia, the seniors were encouraged to resume social activities to maintain social connections, since it improves their health and wellbeing. The MWASA resumed the Social Support Group (SSG) activities by organizing a lunch gathering for CHSP seniors on the 6th of August 2020 at Sofra Kebab House.
We have implemented proper sanitising and social distancing procedures to ensure that wellbeing of the attendees is protected. We celebrated Eid al-Adha during this event and it was an opportunity for the seniors to reunite and catch up with their peers. During the event we reminded the seniors of the importance of maintaining physical distancing and following good hygiene practices. Urika demonstrated the proper techniques for hand washing and sanitizing. Following that, they competed in a fun maze puzzle.
The seniors then enjoyed a wonderful lunch which included a chicken and lamb shish kebab plate served with rice, bread and fresh salad. After a very filling lunch, the seniors played an entertaining game of BINGO led by Jessica.
Finally, the seniors were each served with a nice slice of cake with Istanbul tea. The seniors had a fantastic time enjoying each other’s company and a nice time reconnecting with their peers. Thank you Sofra Kebab House for having us!
MWASA is committed to helping better the lives of seniors and encourage a more independent lifesyle through organizing activities that promote an active lifestyle.
On 3 September 2020, we organized a lawn bowling activity at Glenelg Bowling Club in which 17 seniors participated. The weather was sunny and pleasantly warm despite the light drizzle in the morning. The seniors were welcomed by two members of the bowling club. They briefed the seniors on the rules of the game.
Some of the seniors were excited as it was their first time while others had experienced playing it before. This low-impact sport activity was thoroughly enjoyed by the seniors, especially the men. They had the pleasure of enjoying time outdoor with their peers, which not only improved their fitness but also their mental well-being. The seniors played over an hour and a half before stopping for lunch. The club provided free flow of coffee and tea.
Overall, they all had a very wonderful time being outdoors and spending time with their peers.
Momz Kitchen catered appetising home style food (stir-fried chicken with rice) for the CHSP seniors on the 22nd and 23rd of July. The meals are part of the ongoing CHSP meal distribution program to support the seniors in accessing meals during the pandemic period. The meals were delivered by Sister Urika and her intern, Jessica as well as a volunteer, Brother Qayyum.
Information about the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and what it means for the seniors, as well as testing locations, were made available to them.
As restrictions begin to ease from 20th July, MWASA will be resuming Social Support Group activities by inviting CHSP seniors for a social lunch at Sofra Kebab House in conjunction with Eid ul-Adha celebration after months of isolation.
This round, the Muslim Women’s Association of South Australia paired up with another local business – AfghanStar Charcoal Kebab House – to provide CHSP seniors with a tasty packed meal. The meal, which was delivered by Sister Urika and her volunteer Sister Nadia on 8 and 9 July 2020, included delicious grilled chicken skewers / falafel with salad and sauce wrapped in tandoori bread.
‘Tips and Ideas for Older Australians to improve flexibility, balance and strength’ by the Department of Health and a jigsaw puzzle activity were also included to engage and entertain the seniors in their free time.
The seniors shared their heartfelt experiences of their time in isolation on postcards. The postcards encouraged them to express their thoughts and feelings on how isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their lives.
Heartfelt gratitude and appreciation were conveyed by some of the seniors for the packed meals and emotional support given by MWASA during this time. Some seniors also shared their struggles of being isolated from their friends and family members, while others reflected on the importance of looking after their own health and well-being.
Sumac Cafe catered exquisite Mediterranean meals for the seniors on the 24th and 25th June 2020. They provided the seniors with appetising chicken skewers, salad and hummus served with rice and Lebanese bread.
COVID-19 has created many challenges for members in the older community, forcing them into isolation in order to protect their health and well-being. This week, MWASA designed an activity for the seniors to create their own postcard and record their experiences (either in writing or drawing) on how isolation during this pandemic has changed or impacted their life.
Additionally, to continue advocating preventative measures against COVID-19, MWASA also provided the seniors with face masks to wear in situations where it is not feasible to maintain physical distancing such as on public transport.
On the 10th and 11th of June, the seniors were provided with delicious meals from Sofra Kebab House. Sister Urika, her intern Jessica, and volunteer Sister Filzah delivered the charcoal chicken with rice and salad to the seniors.
Word search activity puzzles and an information pamphlet on ‘Keep Warm this Winter’ by SA Healthwere also provided to the seniors to help them stay warm and engaged this winter.
After a month of fasting, Muslims around the world celebrated Eid on the weekend of 23rd and 24th of May. The day is usually marked by getting together with relatives and friends over a feast to share happiness. Unfortunately, this year MWASA is not able to hold an Eid gathering for CHSP seniors, owing to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
However, we continue to share the happiness by giving the seniors meals from Prospect Yiros and Gozleme and sweets from Al Mina’s on Prospect on the 27th and 28th of May. A touch of sweetness to brighten their day!