Can Get health - the power of football and a picnic

14 June 2019

The Can Get Health in Canterbury project has recently supported two community activities with the Rohingya community in Canterbury. Barbara Hawkshaw and Amy Bestman are the staff involved in this project.

The Rohingya are a mainly Muslim minority group in Myanmar. Due to widespread and systemic violence in 2017 (United Nations reports) many Rohingya people fled their homeland and some came to Australia, to settle in the Canterbury area. The Rohingya community have been deeply affected by the ongoing conflict in their home country.

The Can Get Health project- The Rohingya Little Local - has provided funding and support for community-led activities that promote health. The Can Get Health project is run in partnership with Sydney Local Health District and the University of New South Wales’ Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity. It aims to improve access to primary health services for Canterbury’s culturally and linguistically diverse population who face increased risks of developing preventable diseases or conditions.

The Rohingya Little Local approach is to build local capacity where a cultural group chooses activities that will improve their own health.  The Rohingya community came up with the ideas and the resources.  They chose an indoor football (soccer) tournament, held in January 2019 and a community picnic, held to celebrate the Eid festival at the end of Ramadan, on 9 June 2019.

Both events were a great success and were designed to bring the community together. One participant said “Our main goal was to ease our stress. We tried to ease our tension and pain. We met each other and comforted each other. Some of us played football which made us happy”. 

For more information, please email Can Get Health in Canterbury’s project officer Barbara Hawkshaw b.hawkshaw@cesphn.com.au.

Read Sydney Connect for more on this excting project.