Thank you Ree Maloney for spending time with us and for your article in Weekend notes
After a lot of planning and meeting the first event for Across barriers school program has started at Christian Brothers College, St Kilda,
Two events have taken place where parents, schools and communities have been able to meet together to share stories, experiences and just to meet up giving support to new families in our school communities.
Christian Brothers College, St Kilda had a lovely relaxed evening with new families from Sudan. With the assistance of the former school captain Anei Thou, Teachers and parents shared food and stories in a relaxed venue. Children played while parents developed ties, discussing various recipes and trying new flavours such as Okra. There was also a bit of dancing and music too. We are hoping to encourage more families over the year to meet up.
Good planning CBC and well done Anei for getting the ball rolling.
Interview with Mariam Issa by Sarah Yusuf
Mariam Issa is not only a remarkable person and infectiously positive person but also a great mother of five. Despite her being my mother, I still didn’t really know much about her involvement with
space 2b and got the opportunity to really talk to her about it in an entirely unbiased way.
Mariam began Space2b with Janine; Space2b is one of the most profound projects she has been a part of. I sat down with her and went into depth about why this was.
SARAH: Hi, i’m Sarah Yusuf and here with me today is Mariam Issa, Space2B’s Ambassador. So, How did you get involved with Space2b?
MARIAM: Well, I started the space2b with Janine, It was all her idea, she came to me and asked if I could be a part of this dream she had.
SARAH: Awesome, So how has space 2b impacted your journey?
MARIAM: … I think it gives me a sense of doing something that I am proud of and …. Also it’s given me an insight into the art and design industry. While I love beautiful clothes I’ve never really had a chance to witness the behind the scenes creative process or the wonderful people who make them, so being a part of the creative process of art and design has added to my value of life and beauty.
SARAH: Yeah that’s cool, so where do you see Space 2b in 5 years?
MARIAM: Well, I see The Space2b in 5 years to be …. established, independent and sustainable and by independent I mean financially, so independent from grants because we seek grants, we seek other peoples help, so most of the work we do and most of the people working are volunteer based, and that sort of … handicaps us. The way I see the shop going and the direction its heading, I see it being a very sustainable organisation where good, beautiful works of art are sold.
SARAH: Okay that’s great, so where do you and Janine find designers and artists for the store?
MARIAM: Well, we will work with migrant and refugee women; um … we find them through networks of referral, word of mouth and the mainstream artists and designers are people Janine usually knows since she is a designer herself. The designs and art is Janine’s territory, she incorporates anything that she might like from a designer perspective but with recruiting … we just do it together through people we know and our own separate contacts.
SARAH: Having already had so much on your plate with different projects, what made Space2b special/different? What was your vision for it?
MARIAM: My vision for it to begin was … I loved the idea of connecting people, especially women, I mean Space2b is not just for women but we work predominantly with women and my connection with the idea is the fact that I love entrepreneurship and I love the fact that this is an autonomy where women can be given a chance, to be able to make their own things and make money from that. Also that part of training, to train the women to achieve and grow in confidence, being able to use the shop as a place where they can feel a part of the community despite it sometimes being a strange new place for some of them. I think that comes from my own background and my own integration story, I feel like had I had a space like Space2b I would have progressed much faster.
Thanks to funding from the City of Port Phillip, our Get striped festival last Saturday during Multicultural week was great fun, and we loved sharing the day with our partners who helped to make it a great success.
‘Get Striped’ Space2b project marks acceptance and respect through creative arts reminding us that we all deserve to be safe and happy.
The day included a design Market run by Lana from Meet Me at the Market, and the St Kilda farmers market. We also had Basketry and african beading workshops, henna art, cultural dance and face painting. We finished off in the afternoon with an inspirational forum and Q&A with some great speakers, Mariam Issa, Abe Nouk Amini Nyikang and singer song writer Nela Trifkovic.Thanks to photographer Tatiana we have some fantastic photos to share with you and lets face it, pictures say a thousand words.
Kindly funded by the City of Port Phillip Festival fund
Hi this is jane Leroi, I’m coordinating the Space2b school program called “Across Barriers ” a collaboration between Space2b Social Design and three local schools. The program involves school kids developing a welcome program for new migrants into our school communities. This program has been funded by the city of City Of Port Phillip
Our three schools are Christian Brothers College, St Kilda, CBC & Presentation College, Windsor, PCW and St Kilda Primary School, SKPS. In the picture above is Genevieve and Vicly, who are working with me on the St. Kilda Primary program and who both have kids at the school.
Ours first event was at PCW with Abe Nouk, from Creative Rebellion Youth being our guest speaker. Through the voice of poetry Abe mesmerised the kids who were very impressed and inspired to know more about refugees and and how to live the dream with building upon oneself confidence and how to use self motivation to create a future path.
Here is one of the amazing poems from Abe Nouk To be a poet
As part of the Across Barriers school partnership program, new migrant families from St Kilda Primary School had their first meeting with the Barriers Team at the space2b shop. We met 4 new families from Ethiopia and shared coffee and tea.
Space2b trainee worker Darartu, also from Ethiopia will attend all meetings to welcome families, and help with discussions.
Thanks to two volunteer parents from the school, this program is taking off.
Plans are to meet up once a week to share stories, give support in areas of interest such a sewing, computer skills and English lessons.
Three cheers to these schools.
We will also be inviting parents from the school to attend these sessions and connect with new families in a safe and caring environment, a great link between school and community.
Our Space2work program is about connecting local residents with new migrants settling into Australia. Through the program participants are able to share their knowledge and creativity in a space where everyone can feel welcome and supported. Shivani and Darartu work together on Fridays. Come along and say hi!
Space2work is kindly supported by The City of Port Phillip
Space2work is our work experience and job placement program which has been supported by The City of Port Phillip to establish this program and trial it.
Meet Catrina Sofo, our new program co-ordinator and Darartu, one of the participants.
There are currently 10 participants on the program, 5 Port Phillip residents and 5 new migrants who are working and training together in our core business areas, including retail, marketing, accounting and event management. The program also provides local volunteers and new migrants the opportunity to engage and connect whilst gaining work experience, skills and references.
Thanks to a grant from the City of Port Phillip, Space2b has been able to provide workplace training to local residents, as well as new migrants and refugees through the Space2work program. The ladies have been working together to share skills and knowledge, and help run the Space2b retail space! The talent and creativity is boundless and the shop has had a hit of energy and vibrancy. Come visit us at Space2b shop! Or if you’re interested in becoming a part of Space2work, please email email@example.com
Its official and we are open for business.
Space2b’s new site was launched on Friday night, 18th November.
Thank you everyone who came from near and very far to celebrate with us.
Our store is open for business with all sorts of wonderful gifts, clothing, jewellery and lots more.
Come and visit us and bring your friends.
We are open wed – Sat 10-5pm and will be expending our hours over Christmas.
Together we make a difference
Launch with Janine, leila, Mariam and Clare. Leila will be running the art Gallery for Space2b.
Abuk from TWICH, will be joining us next year with her sewing machines and teaching Cert. 3
in sewing. Her beautiful clothing is already in store.
We will be running lots of activities, movie nights and creative workshops, so watch this space!