Zara’s House is the inspiration and the determination of Sister Diana Santleben O.P.
Sister Di was excited by the fun she had enjoyed with the Afghan women at Penola House some time ago.
She saw the need for a safe place where refugee women could have fun with Australian women – sharing time and talent while learning English and settling into their new home and culture.
Sister Diana also saw that it was a good opportunity for the women refugees to make friends, to share their skills and cultures through art and craft activities together.
She found a suitable place in Jesmond naming it Zara’s House after an Afghan refugee woman who came to Australia with her family in 2014.
The refugee women met with creative women from Hunter TAFE, the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health.
They prepared a wonderful program to involve many women finding materials to teach weaving, sewing and handcraft to other women.
They are now working to form a micro-business enterprise and market their creations online.
The members of Refugees and Partners thank all involved in childcare – Jesmond Neighbourhood Centre, the donors of toys and learning aids and the commitment of willing volunteers.
The INSPIRATION is REALITY.
Zara’s House Refugee Women’s Enterprises opened for business on 14 June 2016.
Refugees and Partners work with other members of the local refugee service providers to plan and manage programs suited to the needs of the young refugee women.
Team leaders monitor progress and report regularly to R&P executive.
They prepare reports for funding bodies and do research for further activity and prepare new submissions for grants.
Zara’s House was officially opened by the Mayor of Newcastle, Nuatali Nelmes at 3.30 pm on 21 June 2016.