A recent study by the South Eastern Region Migrant Resource Centre found that young refugees from Sudan find it particularly difficult to finish high school. If they often leave school, they struggle to find employment, which can lead to depression, health problems, substance abuse, and involvement in crime. In Victoria, refugees from Sudan hold the highest level of youth unemployment of all migrant communities.
A grant of over $83,000 from the Foundation aims to give young Sudanese refugees a better start to life in Australia. This funding will enable Life Saving Victoria to train young African migrants to become life guards through a culturally sensitive water safety and aquatic skills education program, offering them employment pathways within the aquatics industry or emergency services.
Swimming, whether it be at the beach or the local pool, is a big part of Australian culture and life guards are are highly respected. Life Saving Victoria’s new program helps build the skills and confidence of the young participants, and upon graduation, they are offered the opportunity to become community role models and mentors to the next group of young people joining the program.