Teamwork is the secret that
makes common people achieve uncommon results
Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha
We asked each team member to reflect and talk about their achievements and highlights throughout the past year
These three words “purpose, responsibilities, and hope” sum up my thoughts on the last year. I consider it an honour to work with the amazing management committee, staff, volunteers, and students that make up TEAM MECA.
We gather every day as a family only for the aim of giving back to the community. We diligently and joyfully carry out our responsibilities so that those who are vulnerable might find comfort in the tiny things we do.
Hope, Resilience, and Passion were the highlights of the year for me! it was satisfying to lead MECA’s drive to build a resilient community while uplifting the community’s hopes post-COVID-19 challenges.
The achievement was in driving lives back to normal. The sense of instilling confidence and bringing wonderful smiles back to the community member was the most satisfying experience.
Also, a little but important contribution to various recognition received by MECA, throughout the year, was an encouraging and humbling experience.
Yousef Abu Ammar
Bilingual Casework Manager
What a relief it is to be back to our normal face-to-face services after the long lockdown due to the pandemic. Reconnecting with our clients in person and assisting them in returning to their normal life was a challenge.
Leaving Covid-19 behind to face another challenge with the big numbers of TVH from Afghanistan and Ukraine who are in dire need means we are again on the front line again to help.
Where there is need and support, MECA’s team is always ready to challenge and prove our quality service to our community.
There were several highlights of the year for me as a caseworker. Some of these included helping newly arrived clients from Afghanistan and Ukraine on temporary visas. Hearing their stories was very touching to my heart.
Working with these families from different backgrounds was a great opportunity that gave me the passion, understanding and ability to work with them.
Another highlight was encouraging over 20 Afghan women to register for driving classes and swimming classes. Helping them become more independent was truly rewarding. Finally, I was part of holding information sessions about Breast and Cervical Cancer in the Dari language as well as a tour of the BreastScreen Clinic which was great. I was successful in getting a group of ladies over 50 years old to get their first screenings.
Community Development Officer
MECA’s youth programs have been able to thrive following the end of the lockdown and the return of young people to school. This year, I really enjoyed leading our largest team of youth mentors yet to deliver MECA’s Youth Mentoring Program to over 100 young people across two high schools in Mount Druitt. We have had the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of organisations to provide fun and engaging learning opportunities for young people, including Afro Step by Yatimba, Headspace, Western Sydney University, TAFE NSW, Global Skills and PCYC. Our programs have engaged with a variety of important topics including identity, mental health, employment and positive relationships. I developed my community leadership skills by coordinating the delivery of MECA’s Blacktown Youth Leadership Project at two local high schools in Mount Druitt, in partnership with the Institute of Economics & Peace. The outcomes of the projects were impressive and it was very rewarding to see the young people involved lead the way, resulting in a vibrant art mural and weekly affordable snack project. It was rewarding to see MECA’s Youth Team upskilled through training opportunities and to see the team invest time and care into the lives of the young people MECA serves. Some heart-warming feedback MECA has received from the young people we work with includes: “MECA has helped me in many different ways, such as learning to stand up for myself and knowing it’s okay to be different” and “The way MECA operates makes us show more of ourselves [and] makes us more comfortable [with] ourselves”.
It was a pleasure to facilitate the SwimSafe program and witnessing how it contributed to the participants’ (more than 40) physical, mental and social well being.
Even though resuming the program and building up the momentum after the lockdown was challenging, it was conducted successfully. The participants highly appreciated the program as they enjoyed their time, built confidence in water and social networks.
Additionally, working with the wonderful MECA staff members, student placements and volunteers to deliver the essential services in the community was a delightful and enjoyable experience.
Having the youth acknowledge what they’re capable of and admiring how far they’ve come was a wonderful experience because it showed their unlimited potential.
Being part of the amazing MECA team is immensely rewarding. The team are passionate and inclusive with everything that they undertake and always work strongly together to get the best results.There have been many highlights throughout the year. Being awarded Organisation of the Year 2022 at the Blacktown City Multicultural Awards was a wonderful acknowledgement. From my perspective receiving various funds to carry out the important and life changing work that MECA does. Successful Grant applications have provided interesting projects and confirmation that we are doing good things in the community.
Juggling numerous projects and funding sources comes with its own challenges but it is clear that our clients’ needs are at the basis of all these important decisions.