Today, Host International has announced a year-long partnership with refugee-led charity Afghan Women on the Move (AWOTM).
The partnership will bolster the organisation's ability to work with Afghan arrivals to design and implement services for these newcomers.
“Over the next 12 months, we will work with AWOTM to enhance the inclusion of women in our Afghan employment services and to build the capacity of AWOTM to operate independently, including access to funding and governance training.” Say Mitra Khakbaz, acting CEO of HOST International.
"Together, we believe that refugee and migrant women face specific cultural, social, physical, economic and psychological barriers that limit their integration into Australian Society” continues Khakbaz.
“We believe the best solutions are where individuals and communities are empowered with the right support and tools to address these barriers head on.”
“By joining together in this partnership, we can enhance our impact, and increase capacity for refugee women to realise their settlement dreams and to be at the forefront of policy responses to refugee and migrant women.”
From Survive to Thrive
Afghan Women on the Move is an emerging organisation founded by Maryam Zahid, who herself arrived in Australia as a refugee over 22 years ago. Maryam fled Afghanistan with her family, and understands the stress and trauma of new arrivals firsthand.
AWOTM’s mission is to support Afghan and multicultural women on their journey to go “From Survive to Thrive”. The charity is particularly focused on providing practical and mental health support to women who are newly arrived from Afghanistan.
“I have always believed that excellence is never an accident; it's always the result of high intention, sincere efforts, intelligent direction, and skilful execution.” Says Maryam.
“These words of wisdom best describe our vision and values. I am thankful that, over the past four years, our Association has had the opportunity to work with capable and committed partners in women’s empowerment, education, health, emotional support and creativity.”
United in Humanity, Hope and Dignity for all
HOST is an established international NGO operating across Asia Pacific with expertise in community-building and specialist supports for migrants with complex needs. Its focus is empowering communities to lead displacement and integration solutions.
In Australia, HOST is seeking to build its relationship with refugee communities and refugee-led support networks, and to invest in the capacity of grassroots organisations.
Afghan Women on the Move is thus the perfect candidate for this partnership.
AWOTM has a strong base of support within the Afghan community and a sound governance structure. It needs support to transition from a voluntary organisation to one that has the resources and expertise to grow and support more migrant women.
By joining together in this partnership, both organisations will be able to extend their capacity to support women’s inclusion and a better life for newcomers to Australia. It will also enable AWOTM, as a refugee led initiative, to establish capacity to independently support migrant women.
AWOTM will also provide training and advisory support to HOST staff in relation to cultural competency and women’s inclusion, including advice and feedback on new and current projects projects such as the Afghan Employment Program.
“I am so excited for the opportunities this partnership will bring” says Khazbaz, “and together we will be able to co-design more solutions that build humanity, hope and dignity for all, helping more people to realise their goals in Australia.”