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Experiences of women from African-Australian backgrounds during COVID-19 lockdown

Afficause COVID-19 Impact Forum Flyer

About Africause

Africause promotes and advocates for social harmony and better understanding through conversation to provide insights and knowledge that will generate opportunities for change and support regarding these issues and create positive impacts on organisations, government, community and the general public.

Second COVID-19 Impact Forum

Africause held their second successful free online forum on 28 October, gathering five amazing women representative of different African communities living in Melbourne. These women shared their experiences and thoughts regarding the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns for them and their families.

Sabrin Said powerfully moderated discussions for the forum with speakers Fathi Yassin, Jemila Adam, Loza Tsegaye, Adongwot Manyoul and Shemsiya Waritu. They conversed about topics such as the impact of the pandemic on women from CALD backgrounds in Victoria, how the pandemic has affected family relationships, repercussions on children and their education, thoughts regarding religious and cultural celebrations and solutions and ideas to protect their family’s mental health.

Challenges experienced

Overall, these women have been able to manage the challenges of lockdown. Those who are working from home have mentioned that they are working hard on maintaining a balance and setting boundaries to the diverse amount of responsibilities that they face every day.

Another big challenge that was mentioned is struggle to maintain meaningful connection and communication with families for those who live far from their loved ones. It has been difficult for women to feel that they “are” there for their families and friends, especially because African communities are highly family orientated people, they have mentioned that, for example, a call is not enough when someone from the community has passed away.

Feelings of gratitude in midst of uncertain future

On the other hand, women have highlighted that feeling gratitude about the positive things that they still have and the support they have had from community, organisations and government is one of the most important elements to overcome the challenges of the lockdown. This characteristic has allowed them to support others less fortunate, like those who are not entitled to financial support. Women mentioned that the community has been supporting each other during this hard time in many other different aspects. However, there is still uncertainty about what the future looks like, what is going to happen now and what plans does the government have moving forward?

Materials will be available to access from Africause website during the following week: www.africause.org.au

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