UMSLV collaborated with Bec Vandyk and Farhat Firdous for the delivery of an art activity for the school holidays in September.
The ‘Zoom Art Room’ had several regular attendees, working through some painting skills and other art-making processes. During the School Holiday sessions (one in Yarragon and one in Trafalgar), attendees were both in person and via zoom, so that more people could participate beyond the social distancing requirements.
Using acrylic paints we explored the concept of home, and how we make the idea of home in our minds and among our families – often through travel, often through memory or imagination. Sometimes what feels like ‘home’ is not the place where we live, but the feeling we get when we are with certain people.
All the attendees’ artworks have been collected to create a simple stop-motion short-film, which will be shared very soon. I am currently looking for spoken-word poems telling stories of homecoming to use as a soundtrack in the short-film.
Arts & Health Gippsland is currently working on ongoing Zoom Art Room sessions, which are free every second Sunday. Called ‘The Melting Pot”, the sessions explore all the things that go into our creativity, a ‘melting pot’ of ideas and inspiration. Everyone is welcome to join in – sign up here: https://artsandhealthgippsland.com.au/live-well-come-share/
Crazy times in 2020 has brought with it so many changes, in so many ways. People have been trying to get through together, keep active and even make a record of what will be, a moment in history. At this time, a lot of organisations, businesses, services and community groups have had to move the way they operate to an online world.
One activity that came along during the first lockdown was a workshop held by the United Muslim Sisters of Latrobe Valley (UMSLV) creating a COVID Time Capsule. A well facilitated workshop for both children and adults we looked at recording what we were experiencing, what we were doing during COVID, what things we missed and so much more. The resource gave participants opportunity to record messages, significant events that happened during this time and collect keepsakes.
What a wonderful opportunity to engage with young and old and be guided by the women of UMSLV. We were supported to share what we wrote and ideas on how we could use the time capsule or even share it with friends and family.
I work in the Community Services sector and am grateful to have joined in with the workshop. It has been shared with our staff to potentially use with clients and our own family members. With many of us working remotely it was great to be able to have a relevant and useful tool to support us during and after COVID lockdown.
Islamic studies classes for children – AishaTariq
Three years back, moving to this land of the free, as an immigrant I was not only struggling to acclaim my cultural heritage but also battling to preach deen to my two little girls. In this foreign home fate would have it that my overpowering zeal to teach my girls Islam opened doors to the Islamic lessons initiated by UMSLV.
This beautiful group brought forward this platform forward this platform for children to know our religion. Every month when I see my girls asking me “When is the next Allah’s class?”, it brings great joys of recognition and accomplishment. Though, we greatly miss the comfort and colours life brought with face to face interactions. Despite these stressful times of the pandemic the online Islamic sessions organised by UMSLV gave the little joy to see each other and gain some fruitful thoughts to ponder later for the month. UMSLV has brought us multicultural sisters and children an opportunity to realise that we are all striving for the same peace inside. I will pause here to marvel at the efforts made by UMSLV in awe and respect. Thank you UMSLV.
United Muslim Sisters of Latrobe Valley (UMSLV) are excited to bring the MY Story project to local secondary schools in Gippsland.
MY Story has adopted the ‘Living Library’ concept, which promotes respect for human rights and human dignity, and aims to raise awareness of, and enable constructive dialogue about prejudices that can lead to discrimination against individuals or groups of people. The ‘Living Library’ concept gives people an opportunity to borrow a person and sit down and listen to the ‘book’s’ story. The ‘readers’ are encouraged to be active participants and to ask questions about the story.
The aim of the MY Story project is to empower young people in Gippsland to share aspects of their own stories with their fellow classmates. This provides students a chance to learn about diversity and to have a personal interaction that may challenge previously held views and promotes social cohesion and connectedness between peers.
CMY and UMSLV developed a five- session package which reflects current VELS requirements for English. This program was initially delivered by both CMY and UMSLV and now rests solely with UMSLV. The sessions are now conducted by UMSLV and Nanoo Nanoo Arts who bring a range of skills and expertise to working with young people. Session topics include an introduction to the project and concepts, story development and review and presentation skills. Schools are also encouraged and supported to engage with local feeder primary schools to conduct their final session with Grade Sixes as the audience.
To date the program has been conducted in 3 local secondary schools within a Year 7 English classroom and has received positive feedback from all about their experience with the project and project partners. Further information on the project, including a letter of recommendation can be provided upon request.
The story behind the project can be seen here:
During the winter holidays, UMSLV organized a three-day camp for young children’s and teenagers to attend. I was really excited to be part of this camp. I believe this camp helped me to come out of my comfort zone and try new things. My favourite outdoor activity in the camp was the Giant Swing, because the view was mesmerizing to look at. This activity helped me gain my confidence and learn to break my fears. In the three day camp, there were some special guests who came over to talk to us about some important morals. During the discussions with the guests, I learned that everyone should respect everyone`s religion and not criticise from where they are from. It is important to realise that everybody is different in their own way and we should all support each other. In the Allambee Camp there was a group of Vietnam students who came overto Australia for a couple weeks. It was a little bit hard to communicate with some of the people because they were a bit shy speaking in English. I manage to break the ice between us and I used short and concise sentences to communicate with them. The Vietnam students were very lovely, and they have been very welcoming to all of us in the camp. I learnt the Vietnam`s cultural lifestyle and it was amazing getting to know them. It was definitely hard saying goodbye to each other because we became very close! The staff in Allambee camp have been very welcoming. They always had a smile on their face and made the camp very adventurous. The food was also delicious. We tried different foods so we can explore the type of lifestyle they we live in. My favourite dish from the camp was Biryani, because I like the hot and spicy flavours. I would recommend this camp, and I hope that I can go again soon because I had so much fun!
At the faith stories event organised by Women’s Federation of World Peace (WFWP) Sarah Price and Yumna Ahmed were invited by the Chaplain of Mater Christi College Kathleen Ward to talk to their students about our religious identities. On the day there were two other speakers who talked about their Catholic and Buddhist faiths. Sarah talked about her discovery of Islam and Yumna talked about contributions of Islam to Science and how that inspired her to study Science. It was a wonderful experience and the students were great listeners. “Thank you to Kathleen Ward for inviting us and giving us the opportunity to interact with your students”.