Empowering Communities Project

SEVA Empowering Communities Project was aimed at producing a collaborative resource for community development, utilising the strengths and assets within the target communities. It explores ways to mobilize the resources that are already present within the community and then working with external partners to complement and fill any gaps. The focus is on empowerment – by providing people with resources, opportunities, knowledge and skills to increase their capacity. It is about building leadership, developing and nurturing local champions and role models. Broadly, the objective of the project is to address the issue of social exclusion particularly of recent migrants and refugees through community capacity building. This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services through the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program.

For more information, visit https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/settlement-and-multicultural-affairs/programs-policy/settlement-services/diversity-and-social-cohesion-program-dscp/dscp-grants/diversity-and-social-cohesion-grant-eligibility-and-how-to-apply

The project brought together seven community organisations from South Asian and African backgrounds and ranged from newly emerging communities to more established groups. These included:

  1. Gurkha Nepalese Community (GNC)
  2. Bantal Pulaar Community Australia Inc.
  3. The Rwandans Community of NSW Inc
  4. Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Association
  5. Association of Bhutanese in Australia (ABA) Sydney
  6. Sydney Sindhi Association Inc
  7. Punjabi Paniri Group

Through a number of workshops and discussions these organisations had the opportunity to showcase their successes, share their experiences and provide input to develop a collaborative resource for community development that can be used by the wider community. The resource tool kit which was launched at a specially organised event on 6 December is available as a pdf document as well a powerpoint presentation separately through this website. Highlight of project activities is also captured through a video, which is also available through this website.

As part of the Empowering Communities Project activities, SEVA website has been revamped to support the project and other capacity building activities. Final project activity will be the celebration of Harmony Day in March 2015.