Pool lifeguard Mohammed Karimi is just one of the stars of a video that was launched recently by the by The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, as part of their ‘Changing Melbourne for Good’ campaign.
In addition to introducing Mr Karimi, who is a participant in LSV’s multicultural education and employment programs and a current Building Leaders Scholar, the new video highlights the work LSV is doing to assist the settlement of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups in Victoria, in particular African communities.
Many young refugees find settlement into Australia very challenging. Learning a new language, entering a different education system, finding employment and recognising differences in customs are some of these challenges.
LSV’s Connecting African Communities program has been funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and aims to provide much needed support to our newest Australians.
This funding enables LSV to train young African migrants to become lifeguards through a culturally sensitive water safety and aquatic skills education program, offering participants with employment pathways across the aquatics industry or emergency services.
It also helps to generate and promote positive stories of achievement and community engagement, while providing a cultural exchange between CALD and local communities.
Now in its second year, the program has already succeeded in providing recreational and employment opportunities to CALD participants, has developed role models and mentors to assist in educating future participants and has fostered a greater sense of water safety within CALD communities.
The first year saw 1500 participants involved in the project, with 120 candidates enrolled in learn to swim classes and 27 individuals receiving accredited training awards across pool lifeguard, senior first aid and swim teaching courses.
LSV Multicultural Projects Manager David Holland says the ’Changing Melbourne for Good’ campaign increases the profile of CALD programs and the positive stories that have evolved as a result.
“The launch of the campaign, and in particular LSV’s feature video, is a great platform for LSV to promote what we’re doing to develop healthy and resilient communities within Melbourne,” Mr Holland said.
“Being around water – whether it’s a trip to the beach or the local pool – is a big part of Australian culture.
“Our programs build the skills and confidence of the young participants and we already have a number of great success stories.
Upon graduating from the first year of the program we are seeing participants putting their hands up to become community role models and mentors to the next group of young people, which is encouraging for the future of these programs.”
Learn more about the Changing Melbourne for Good program at: https://www.lmcf.org.au/changing-melbourne-for-good