“Pathways to Empowerment” programme
Zahra Foundation Australia currently run a 9-week “Pathways to Empowerment” programme which supports women with financial literacy, computer literacy and developing a learning plan. All women accessing the programme have been or are currently experiencing domestic violence and are socially isolated and financially disadvantaged as a result.
While this programme receives Government funding, it is extended by the Zahra Foundation which wanted to build on to, and add value to, the training already being offered to their client group. The aim is to embed a workshop on self defence, body awareness and confidence building to support the women to become further empowered through personal safety techniques.
To this end, the Foundation applied to UCF for a small grant to engage Sharon Stewart from YIN Personal Safety Solutions. Sharon has over Sharon has over 28 years experience training people in martial arts. She has taught martial arts, personal safety and personal empowerment to the community for 25 years. Sharon recently completed a 3 year contract as a Project Officer in Domestic Violence at Victim Support Service Inc and has worked as a TAFE Lecturer in Women’s Education in South Australia.
Zahra Foundation have utilised the services of Sharon in previous workshops and the feedback from the participants has been exceptional.
The Zahra Foundation Australia was launched in September 2015 in honour of Zahra Abrahimzadeh who was murdered by her estranged husband at the Adelaide Convention Centre in 2010. The children of Zahra have worked closely with the domestic violence sector across the State to establish a charity which is informed by the work of specialist services and supported by a body of evidence and knowledge.
The UCF Board were pleased to approve the $900 grant requested. This will provide 40 students, over 2 terms, with a 1.5-hour self defence, body awareness and confidence building sessions embedded into the Pathways to Empowerment programme.