.

By NARELLE COULTER

AFGHAN refugee women have their hands on the wheel of independence, thanks to an innovative learn-to-drive program.
The Association of Hazaras in Victoria operates the program in Casey and Greater Dandenong.
Backed by funding from the RACV, the program is open to both sexes, but the focus is on helping women get their driving licence.
Participants receive five professional driving lessons before they are handed over to volunteers who continue to help build participants’ skills and road sense.
Now in its fourth year, the program received a boost earlier this year with the purchase of a dedicated vehicle.
By the end of the year, 90 refugees will have been behind the wheel.
Secretary of the Association of Hazaras in Victoria Ahmed Saberi said it was particularly important women were taught to drive.
“Many of the Afghan women now in Dandenong came from rural and regional areas where it is taboo for women to drive, so they have no driving experience at all. Men have at least some driving experience,” Mr Saberi said.
“It is very important that women can drive because they need to support their children and families. In a traditional Afghan family, the husband works and the women look after the children, which means getting kids to school, doctors appointments and things like that. If they are not able to drive they have to rely on their husbands.
“Driving gives them independence.”
Mr Saberi said mobility was also vital for integration and gave women the means to socialise outside the home.
“Being able to drive lets women socialise with other people in their community or with the mainstream Australian community. It does a lot of good for their mental health.”
The program was given a futher boost last week, with the RACV announcing an $18,000 grant.

.

Comments are closed.

Or post a comment using your email

More News

BY JARROD McALEESE RESIDENTS are encouraged to nominate a community group or family in need of a dryer this winter, with selected recipients to be giv...

ONE man successfully forced entry into two Casey businesses in one night, fleeing with electrical goods and cash. The thief started his crime spree ar...

BY JARROD McALEESE YEAR 7 students in Kambrya College’s Athlete Development Program (ADP) were fortunate recent guests at Whitten Oval, home of the ...

RESIDENTS can decide the future of Berwick’s Old Cheese Factory. The City of Casey is inviting locals to have their say on the draft Old Cheese Fact...

Latest Sport

Entertainment

Myuna Farm
MYUNA Farm in Doveton hosts a produce swap on the second Saturday of every month where residents can swap their excess home-grown produce with other participants. Produce swaps are not only for swapping home-grown fruit and vegetables but participants can also bring along items including eggs, seeds and seedlings, flowers and compost. There is no money exchanged, just items swapped. New participants are welcome and no bookings are required.
- Myuna Farm, 182 Kidds Road, Doveton, second Saturday of every month. Contact on 9706 9944.
U3A Cranbourne THE U3A Cranbourne will start its second term for 2016 on Monday 11 April. The group currently has vacancies in folk art, bridge, mahjo...

Music fans will be cheering for more.
SINCE its official debut at the 2013 Tamworth Country Music Festival, the Adam Eckersley Band has enjoyed a steep rise in popularity, firmly positioni...