Group creates community ties

The Edo Men’s Support Group participants. Photos: Supplied 217910_02

A pilot project aimed at reducing the social isolation of African men living in Wyndham has been declared a success.

The not-for-profit Edo Club of Australia Inc was established in 2007, as the peak national Edo State organisation for associations, organisations and individual groupings of Edo migrants, who originally hail from southern Nigeria.

The Edo Club’s welfare, innovation and advocacy chair, Mohammed Isah, said that members voted the Men’s Support Group as an important project, at an annual club meeting held last year.

The club went on to receive a community grant from Wyndham council, to help establish the support group as a pilot project.

The group aims to provide an opportunity for Wyndham men, from an African background, to come together and develop social support networks while engaging in activities.

Mr Isah said the support group also aims to build healthy relationships and increase awareness about Australian culture, provide cross-cultural learning and develop information and referral pathways to other services including mental health, education and employment for African-Australian men.

A man who has participated in the support group, business and finance professional Edwin Ngbeken, said: “The group brought me closer to my community, the African community in Victoria.

“I benefited from the workshops organised, especially the kitchen table discussion about fathers as good role models for children.”

Mr Ngbeken said speakers from Drummond Street Services had engaged the support group members in a round table discussion on how fathers can positively influence, and be good role models for, their kids.