The Victorian Afghan Associations Network (VAAN) is currently running the “Building Respectful Relationships Project” which is funded under Supporting Multicultural and Faith Communities to Prevent Family Violence.
The main objective of the project is nurturing caring respectful relationship in the Victorian Afghan community. By strengthening positive, equal and respectful relations between our women and men, girls and boys we will be addressing one of the key underlying gendered drivers of violence in our community. We will be running a cohesive community educational program for the next three years through following activities:
- Regular information sessions throughout the year targeting different groups in the community. The sessions will be delivered in Dari and Hazaragi languages.
- Youth activities such as sport mini tournaments and excursions focusing on promoting respectful relations between girls and boys.
- Short films and videos including brief interviews with prominent community figures challenging the normalisation of male dominance
- Theatre play production for live stage performance in the Afghan new year Festival and other cultural celebrations.
- Trivia quiz and group games in community gatherings
- Song production including generating lyrics, music composition and live performance by local Afghan artists.
- Photography competition for teenagers and running exhibition for local Afghan photographers and painting artists.
- Inclusion of respectful relationship in Dari language schools curriculum and developing classroom based activities.
- Developing flyers in Dari, Pashto and Hazaragi languages for online distribution and printing posters to be put up in places frequented by the target groups such as the shopfront windows in Afghan Bazars, Dandenong
- Running information stalls at community festivals like the Afghan new year festival to promote the project and its objectives using a range of promotional material including brochures, flyers, posters, banners, booklets and Promotional Items like calendars and tote bags.
- Online communication activities including sharing flyers, videos and visualized report about the project activities on Facebook pages, websites and VAAN Ychannel.
The expected outcome of the project will be increased awareness around the issue of family violence in our community, a substantial challenge to male dominance, more respectful relationship and promoting women’s confidence in private and public life. All of these factors are of the utmost importance in the primary prevention aspects of preventing family violence.
The activities will take place in different settings such as religious gatherings, sport clubs, community language schools and cultural settings targeting different groups in the Victorian Afghan community as outlined below:
- The information sessions will be separately delivered for four different groups: school aged children, women, men and families tailored to the needs and interest of each group.
- The sport mini tournaments and excursions will target the Afghan youth.
- The Islamic religious sermons will appeal to the older generations of Afghans.
- Trivia quiz and group games in community gatherings will be primarily for young adults.
Some of the activities like the ones run as part of the hugely popular Nawroz Festival AKA Afghan new year festival have the potential to reach all groups in the community.