Recipes of a Mum’s Life (SETS)

Earlier this month, on the 9th, the first Recipes of Life session was held for Mums. 

The idea behind the Recipes of Life program is to support inter-generational relations and assist with any issues that parents might be experiencing. After individual Mum and youth focus group sessions, the groups will then be combined for the final sessions. Eight sessions in total will be run over the next year. 

The Recipes of Life sessions provide an informal and comfortable environment for Mums to talk.

Natale Rudland Wood from the Dulwich Centre presented in this first session using recipes as a way to spark interest and initiate discussion. 

The session began with everyone smelling different spices that Natale had brought. Natale asked each participant to share their memories that came with the smell. Some of the ladies shared their experiences since leaving Syria and the hardships they faced until reaching Australia. The also spoke about the challenges they face in a new country. 

It was interesting to see how these women have coped with the challenges of life and how they want to be strong for their children. The children have noticed and admired the determination and resilience of their mothers and hopefully in the future would be in a better position to deal with their own challenges. The ladies have shown their determination especially with learning English in order to be independent.

It is absolutely inspiring to learn how circumstances have forced them beyond their previous capabilities, in learning new things in a new country without support. They have learnt survival skills and fought the odds. 

A handful of ladies attended and the intimate size of the group seemed to encourage the ladies to open up a bit more and share more of themselves with the others present. 

The discussions and recipes from the next few sessions will be compiled into a recipe book, that will hopefully assist other new arrivals with tips, advice and stories of bravery. 

What the ladies had to say about this session:

  • It is interesting way of sharing our stories.

  • Not many people know about the things I mentioned today.

Community Resource: We try not to take people’s hate into our hearts

A group of young Muslim women living in Adelaide came together on this project to discuss different ways not to take people’s hate into their hearts, a very useful community resource at a time when Muslim women are regularly experiencing things like being stared at or yelled at in public. 

Please visit the project page to view the full video and transcript.

Community Resource: Surviving the Ocean of Depression

Excerpt taken from Surviving the Ocean of Depression

In this project, asylum seekers and refugees who are now living in Australia generously share their experiences in overcoming hardships in order to reach, support and empower others. Stories are told in Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Nepali and Pashto. 

This project was initiated by Dr Abdul Stanikzai. While working as an interpreter in Adelaide, he was called upon to translate for medical professionals responding to people from diverse language groups, some of whom had come to Australia seeking asylum and refuge, who were facing mental health crises (and as a result were in psychiatric wards). Dr Stanikzai recognised that mental health staff were struggling to find ways to respond and that it could be significant for those currently in crisis to be able to listen, in their own language, to stories from others who had been through similar experiences and who had managed to ‘overcome the ocean of depression’. Dr Stanikzai mentioned this to Dulwich Centre Foundation and this project is the result.

The resources contain stories from interviews conducted by Dr Stanikzai as well as contributions from the Muslim Women’s Association of South Australia.

Please visit the project page to learn more.