Victorian Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley, last week announced the recipients of 46 grants from the fourth round of the Participation for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Seniors Grants Program.
The program has funded more than 200 community projects across Victoria that help vulnerable seniors from CALD backgrounds at risk of social isolation connect to new or existing social networks and activities.
The grants help organisations run events, activities and social outings, as well as organising help with transport, such as volunteer drivers and car pooling for seniors isolated at home.
Among the activities are day trips and excursions, walking groups, technology and English classes, exercise and fitness programs, health and wellbeing information sessions, storytelling projects and cultural celebrations with traditional dance and music.
Many groups are organising information sessions on using public transport, giving seniors the confidence and independence they need to attend cultural and social activities.
Others are organising cooking classes and establishing gardens where seniors can produce and share recipes from their cultural background, building a greater awareness and appreciation of diversity in the local community.
The program is delivered in partnership with the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV).
An ECCV report on the grants program found that more than 150 ethnicities were represented among 208 projects funded over the past four years, engaging more than 3,000 isolated seniors in community activities.
“[These grants are about helping] seniors from all cultures participate fully in community life by breaking down the barriers they face," Minister Foley says.
“We recognise that it comes down to supporting activities as simple as helping an isolated senior with transport to and from social and cultural activities.
“With Victoria as the multicultural state of our nation, it’s important that seniors from our diverse communities are supported as well as possible.
"There are challenges that are unique to seniors in our diverse communities, and this program helps to ensure they remain engaged and active."
Find out more about the Participation for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Seniors Grants Program.