On December 9 and 10 Lady Northcote Recreation Camp partnered up with Islamic outreach and support organisation Tooba Projects to help empower families from the Islamic faith to overcome social barriers through participation in the great outdoors.
An intimate group of less than 50 people from the Western Suburbs attended. These Muslim families face social barriers such as a lack of engagement and interaction with the Australian bush, mental health concerns and a lack of connection to community.
YMCA Lady Northcote Camp Manager Rob Cummins said the weekend was focused on providing a safe, inclusive and active camp experience.
“Some of these families have never been camping before, or experienced the joy of the Australian outdoors.
“It was a privilege to co-facilitate to create a culturally inclusive camp for all to enjoy,” he said.
The theme for the camp was connection to the self, others and country. Families participated in workshops on mindfulness, life coaching and yoga. An Indigenous Consultant attended the camp to run workshops and give talks on culture, language and the importance of the Indigenous connection with the land.
Tooba Organiser Sumayyah Tirris said the camp day is important for removing stereotypes around the Muslim communities and create happier and healthier families:
“There are significant barriers which can prevent this community from being able to experience organised activities in the outdoors, ranging from the lack of a socially inclusive environment through to the fear of being judged,” she said.
Tooba Projects also organised a childcare option so that mums with babies could enjoy a few hours of respite to participate in yoga, workshops and massage. There were special activities for children such as adventure sports, exploration walks and didgeridoo lessons which all aimed to build confidence and resilience in these young people.
All participants walked away from the weekend having challenged themselves in adventure activities they’d never tried before and with a big smile on their face at all they had achieved.