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.
The tutors discussed with the participants how to answer guests confidently if they ask about the dishes. They recommended the participants to do a search on the internet to find a brief description about every dish.
Sister Nazneen from Chai & Canvas was invited to conduct a canvas painting session with our CHSP seniors on 27 February 2020.
Using an 8 fold rosette that is used in the Islamic world, Sister Nazneen taught the seniors using the dot/pointalism technique to complete a painting on a canvas. It was indeed a therapeutic experience for the seniors where they can express their creativity in a relaxed and fun environment. The calming nature of dot painting makes them feel at ease and help to improve their hand-eye coordination. The result was amazingly beautiful! The seniors created beautiful designs on black canvases using different sized dots.
Feedback from Participants They have heard about the Australian Aboriginal dot painting and were eager to learn more about it. By adding a touch of Islamic element in this activity, Sister Nazneen was able to attract their interest in Art – especially the men. The seniors were pleased and proud of their artwork and look forward to more of such sessions in the future.
Yasmin and Manal from ActNow Theatre conducted a consultation on dealing with Islamophobia in Australia, which will be at the base of the theatrical acts to be performed at various schools around South Australia.
The games included in the session made it more interesting and helped new girls to feel part of the group.
The session included questions like “what is good about being a Muslim in
Australia?”, “what is hard about being a Muslim in Australia?”, “what do you want people to know about Muslims?” and “what do you want people to know about you?”.
Some things the girls found hard about being a Muslim in Australia was finding halal food, having to explain yourself and your religious cultural rituals and practices, dealing with racism, and getting used to the culture and language differences in Australia.
“I am nice/kind person”, “I wear my scarf by my own will” and “I speak English very well and I like to socialise” were some things the girls wanted to let other people know about them.
Yasmin and Manal also offered the girls to be part of theatre acts with the ActNow Theatre.
*SETS: Settlement Engagement and Transition Support – Client Services
Last week the second “Recipes of Life” session – organised with Dulwich Centre as a series for youths – was held. The idea is to provide a platform for the young girls to express any family issues they face after coming to Australia.
The focus of this session was a discussion around ways young girls can address issues when dealing with parents and provide tips. These tips will later be put together as a resource that will be helpful for other parents and young girls in similar situation.
The recipe was named “Fixing the Family”.
The session provided participants space to discuss and share issues that concern them. Most had similar issues but different ways to find solutions. It was based on many factors such as culture, family values and more. It will be interesting to see how all this unfolds when we discuss this recipe from the girls at the next session with mums.
“The session was helpful”
“We were able to express and comment”
“Never thought before things that we discussed and expressed today”
“Discussed things that we never spoke before outside in a group”
Recently MWASA hosted a Citizenship Session under the SETS (Settlement Engagement and Transition Support) program, specifically for Syrian clients. The presenter had requested for it to be Syrians only, due to visa differences in clients from Syria and Afghanistan.
The presenter was Okke Velzeboer, from the Department of Home Affairs. Okke is the South Australian Community Liaison Officer in the Citizenship and Multicultural Programs Division.
The session covered the rights, responsibilities and privileges of being an Australian citizen. Okke also went through the eligibility criteria, application process, documents required, interview and citizenship test and application processing duration.
The ladies enjoyed the session and had lots of questions to ask from the presenter. The session was fun and also very informative and useful as the ladies will soon be eligible to apply for citizenship.
It was truly a wonderful experience for the women coming from diverse cultural backgrounds. For some it was their first time visiting Parliament House, which is a whole experience from arriving at the front steps through to leaving enriched with historical and political knowledge.
Last week the ACE Students engaged themselves in promoting a healthy lifestyle by making a variety of sumptuous mouth watering salads using different combinations of freshly cut vegetables dressed with sauces and spices.
The overall lesson learned during the class was to add a portion of fresh salad vegetables into the daily diet.
The salads were then arranged into a colourful and enticing salad bar. Who doesn’t love a salad bar?!
The students showed a lot of enthusiasm in participating and exhibiting their creativity and skills. In fact, each participant seemed to be a connoisseur of salad owing to her own tastes and blending.
In short, it was a wonderful get together and a fun activity which shows that our students are not only good in gaining knowledge and learning skills but have the ability of put them into practice with a vibrant performance and presentation.
The group started with a leisurely walk to the Migration Museum. The weather was excellent and the 30 minute walk was good exercise for the seniors.
The Migration Museum offers a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions and activities. The exhibitions that were showcased on the day include:
Portraits of Elizabeth explores the migration experience and the resilience of community through the stories of Elizabethans, both past and present.
Island Welcome Exhibition explores contemporary jewellery as a gesture of greeting in response to current Australian immigration and refugee policy.
Leaving Britain & Establishing South Australia explores what it was like for British settlers making the journey to South Australia and taking the first steps towards building a new colony.
Next, the seniors visited the Art Museum which showcased the exhibition “Love From Damascus: The art of devotion in Islam”. The exhibition explores the divine and worldly aspects of Islamic devotion expressed artistically over one thousand years.