Last Saturday, MCWH had the opportunity to take part in a community education program for immigrant and refugee women run by AMES (the largest provider of humanitarian settlement, education, training and employment services for refugees and newly arrived migrants). As part of their annual three-day camp, MCWH bilingual educators delivered four fantastic sessions on women’s wellbeing and sexual and reproductive health to around 100 women from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds including Iranian, Afghani, Iraqi, Chinese, Indian and Burmese.
The camp was an excellent opportunity to reach recently arrived women, most of whom had never participated in health education programs like this before. Women spoke of their knowledge and beliefs around certain health topics, and were able to ask questions and clarify their understanding of the information presented, specifically in relation to family planning and contraception, and breast and cervical health. Fantastic models, charts and other materials were used to support this process, which encouraged lots of group interaction and engagement.
At the end of the sessions, MCWH provided each woman with a showbag containing multilingual information, complimentary hygiene products, stationary and a football (physical activity is an integral part of healthy living!). We would like to sincerely thank the sponsors who generously donated products to make our gift to each woman so special: Marie Stopes, John Batman Group, Johnson & Johnson, Intandem, AFL Victoria and Parks Victoria.
As a result of the positive feedback from the sessions, MCWH has been invited to conduct more in-depth education sessions with AMES students in an upcoming project in Melbourne. Thanks to all the participants, our wonderful educators, Elizabeth Mazeyko and Manasi Wagh-Nikam, and to all the AMES staff involved, especially to Amrit Kaur, who provided a well-thought-out program and wonderful support and hospitality. We look forward to working with AMES in the future!