Recent Statistics Highlight Program Gaps for Refugee Youth
The Age recently outlined some rather alarming statistics regarding crime rates amongst Sudanese and Somali-born Victorians. The article, released on August 20th, explained that the average offence rate amongst Sudanese or Somali-born Victorians is approximately five times that of the wider Australian population. Tim Cartwright, The Victorian Police Deputy Commissioner, pointed to prolonged disengagement from education and employment as key reasons for high rates of crime amongst refugee youth. Further, he called for an immediate response from the government and the community as a whole to address these issues before they reach boiling point, or result in riots.
We recognise that these statistics are disturbing, however, we are wary of the resulting stereotyping, social exclusion and isolation that can result from such claims. What is clear from these trends is that we must do more to support refugees in their efforts to become active Australian citizens.
Currently JAA runs homework clubs in both Sydney and Melbourne, which focus on providing Sudanese youth with academic support in a fun, safe environment with the help of JAA mentors. We also run holiday programs for Sudanese youth, which had a record attendance level this July.
JUMP, a new component of our youth engagement (based in Melbourne) will aim to provide disengaged and vulnerable Sudanese youth with unique intensive skills-based activities, building their capacity to live up to their potential. Each fortnight we will bring speakers, leadership professionals, resume writing experts, and JAA mentors to run training sessions with Sudanese youth.
To find out more about our youth engagement programs please contact Lisa.