.

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

THE 1st Narre Warren North Scout Group has benefited from a late election promise from Liberal MP Jason Wood. If the Coatlition Government is re-elect...

A teenager has pleaded guilty this morning to plotting to behead a police officer during an Anzac Day service. It has been reported that at brief hear...

EARLY voters weren’t tuned out as they turned out in droves at the federal election pre-poll centre in Akoona Park, Berwick. Candidates say about 10...

IN THIS austere rates-capping era, perhaps it takes some magic feat for Casey council to deliver a sound budget. Never fear, Riley Baird of Narre Warr...

A MAN who used a stolen firearms licence to successfully apply for a $40,000 Commonwealth Bank credit card account and stole a variety of goods at Fou...

Latest Sport

BOUNCING back from a disappointing 2015, Beaconsfield Under 16s midfielder Mitch Riordan primed himself for a bigger and better 2016 campaign – ...

BIG V – ROUND 12 OVERCOMING the first high-ranking obstacle in a treacherous June schedule, Casey Cavaliers held on against Warrnambool in a 77-...

VWFL SOUTH EAST – ROUND 8 FRESH faces ensured Beaconsfield’s winning streak extended to six on Saturday after brushing aside Mt Eliza. In the ...

Entertainment

  Annie the musical THE timeless story of an effervescent young orphan in the 1930s will be brought to life at the Cranbourne Community Theatre....

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...

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