Young refugees and recent migrants face a range of issues when arriving in Australia. They adjust to a new culture, learn a new language, and often struggle with school and peer pressure which leads to engaging in risk taking activities. They are often traumatized by the experiences of war, separation from family and friends and displacement from their familiar environment and culture.

At Sydwest Multicultural Services Incorporated (Sydwest MSI) we assist those with greatest need during initial periods of settlement as humanitarian entrants, refugees, and people with disabilities, seniors, youth and children. Our youth projects target young people aged 12-24 through a range of youth services including capacity building and community empowerment, advocacy, sports and computer skills development.

We’re really proud to launch the Connecting Newly Arrived Young Refugees to a Safe Technology Environment project. Funded under the Telstra Everyone Connected grant we target young people who come from families with little or no education, let alone skills in cyber-safety and digital literacy. Thanks to Telstra, the grant will go a long way in educating and empowering youth in the community about responsible use of internet service. The project will narrow the digital divide in our community.

Participant quoteOur participants are very excited to get access to modern communication technologies and services.

“This will be a fantastic opportunity for me to improve my skills in using iPhones, iPads and other communication gadgets. I will also improve my skills in doing some online transactions.” Monira, SydWest youth services participant

“The project is appropriate and timely as it will improve the knowledge and skills of refugees and migrant young people in using modern communication technologies. It will empower the target group by providing the relevant training and information sessions so that they will be able to stay safe and act responsibly online.

Through this project, the young people can also utilise the knowledge acquired in assisting their parents and guardians who might not be literate in any language and also could not use internet efficiently.” Mustapha Bangura, Youth Employment and Education Worker, SydWest

And this is just the beginning. I look forward to sharing more about our project as it develops.