Boost for African assistance group

Africause chief executive Dr Berhan Ahmed welcomed Fraser MP Dr Daniel Mulino to celebrate the Footscray-based not-for-profit organisation receiving a $78,000 grant under the federal government's Fostering Integration grants program. (Damjan Janevski) 325539_05

Footscray-based not-for-profit organisation Africause has celebrated receiving a $78,000 grant under the federal government’s $5.6 million Fostering Integration grants program.

For close to 10 years, Africause has been supporting members of the African Australian community in Melbourne’s west via offering them employment, education and mentoring services.

Last year, Africause supported more than 2100 people, including placing 350 young people into the workforce via a number of partner organisations.

Africause chief executive Dr Berhan Ahmed said a key intervention was working with schools to boost the number of young people completing Year 12, with alarming levels of racism leading to high dropout rates among African Australian children, with Africause providing cultural competencies training and intervention strategies.

Africause has also been working with Victoria University to encourage African Australian high school students to choose a career in teaching.

The organisation has also joined forces with Victoria Police to support African Australian diversity recruitment, with 135 people of African heritage now working across Victoria Police, including about 20 police officers.

Fraser MP Dr Daniel Mulino said the African Australian community in Melbourne’s west were currently facing a number of challenges, including high youth unemployment rates.

“Africause does great work in the community,” he said.

“Professor Ahmed works tirelessly, and has done so for many, many years, to advocate for the African Australian community so this grant is really well deserved.”

“Fraser is one of the most multicultural electorates, with people from more than 150 ethnic minority communities calling Melbourne’s west home.”

Dr Ahmed said Africause’s work was also focused on recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of social isolation, mental health issues and education.

Matthew Sims