SCARF Welcomes Three Bilingual Community Workers in Newly Created Roles

SCARF Welcomes Three Bilingual Community Workers in Newly Created Roles

SCARF is thrilled to welcome three fantastic Community Workers to our small team of core staff.

As our new Community Workers, Wafaa, Zahra and Francis will be assisting SCARF with a range of priorities, including community outreach and mobilisation and language support. They will also support SCARF as key advisers in the development and implementation of our programs, specifically, Social Inclusion, Continuous Learning for Adults and Befriending.

Until now, in-language community outreach and mobilisation has been delivered almost entirely by volunteers. It has been SCARF’s vision to improve operational outcomes by harnessing the skills and lived experiences of people from refugee backgrounds. Thanks to a grant from the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation awarded this year, SCARF has finally been able to fund these positions.

Wafaa, Zahra and Francis each possess a combination of skill-sets that make them uniquely qualified for the newly created roles. They each speak multiple languages including English, have extensive experience working with refugee communities in Australia and/or overseas.

Additionally, Wafaa, Zahra and Francis each have a personal understanding of the challenges faced by refugee entrants, and are intrinsically driven to support refugee communities. Both Wafaa and Reza are from refugee backgrounds, while Francis is from Myanmar and has immediate family members from a refugee background.

Wafaa, who will be working with our Arabic speaking communties, became interested in the role in part due to her personal experience as a refugee entrant in the Illawarra. “SCARF is the place where we got help when we arrived, and it was fantastic for us,” she explained. “I’m happy to give back and try to help.”

Like Wafaa, Francis, who will be working with our Burmese communities, has a comprehensive understanding of the needs of refugee communities settling in Australia. He was keen to help SCARF to address a gap in our services.

“SCARF has an open door policy” says Francis. “This policy makes the community members feel welcomed and accepted…SCARF needed a community mobiliser and language support, so I want to fill that gap. I want to provide language support and to mobilise community members, to help them access services and to know their rights.”

Joining Reza, Zahra and Francis will be a fourth Community Worker, who will be supporting refugee communities from African backgrounds.

SCARF is looking forward to benefiting from the skills and experiences of Wafaa, Zahra, Francis, and our fourth Community Worker, and is very much excited to have them officially join our team. Most importantly, we’re looking forward to being able to better support our community members as they navigate the many challenges of settlement and rebuild their lives here in the Illawarra.

Banner image: Francis at the site of the Burmese Community Garden Project