LSV is proud to announce the third year of its successful African Community Pathways Initiative, funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF). The news comes as the program celebrates completion of its two-year target to engage 1,340 direct participants, with 2,000 currently engaged, exceeding expectations and six months earlier than planned.
“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 but a few of these challenges,” says LSV Multicultural Projects Manager David Holland. “Funded by the Foundation, LSV’s Connecting African Communities program is providing much needed support to our newest Australians.”
The program enables LSV to train young African migrants to become lifeguards through a culturally sensitive water safety and aquatic skills education program, offering participants employment pathways within 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 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and non-CALD communities.
In its second year, the program succeeded in providing recreational and employment opportunities to CALD participants, while developing role models and mentors to assist in educating future participants and fostering a greater sense of water safety within CALD communities.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to help more participants in our third year and build on the 133 candidates already enrolled in Learn to Swim classes, as well as the 52 receiving accredited training towards pool lifeguard, senior first aid and swim teaching courses,” says Mr Holland. “We’re looking forward to sharing more positive stories evolving from the Foundation’s campaign that will certainly result in lives saved, skills learned and social integration outcomes beneficial to us all.”
Further reward from the program will come in the form of another stream of training graduates entering the Aquatics and Recreation Industry workforce by late 2017 and during 2018, providing more positive news stories to come.
As a good example of the great work Life Saving Victoria is doing in this area, take a look at a recent story on the initiative aired on SBS World News, which follows two South Sudanese Melbourne siblings journey from Sudan to the swimming pool.