In March, the local Health in Kind team had the Divine Mother and Child session in the west of Melbourne with refugee mothers and children looked after by VICSEG. (http://www.vicsegnewfutures.org.au/). They had three General Practitioners (GP), a social worker, two dentists and two dental student volunteers. This day they trialled having the two dentists working side by side and were able to see more patients as a result. Eight patients were seen. The presentation delivered by the GPs and social worker gained so much interest from the mothers that they asked for copies of the presentation so that they could show this to their family members at home! The doctors also performed a couple of consultations. The families were given packs of fresh vegetables to take home as well.
Also, the team had one more event on the east side of Melbourne, in Dandenong. Five adults, four consultations, one education session on consent / support with an assignment for a student nurse. There were discussions about nutrition and psycho-social stressors with the team. They identified a couple of tools to support this community such as well-being sessions - mindfulness and simple yoga, along with a discussion with a local chemist to organise a discount scheme to facilitate the purchase of medications. The team is identifying useful support groups to share with the community.
This month, the team conducted a volunteer sharing and information session for the service work done in Melbourne. This was the first time this was attempted. As part of Swami’s youth for youth initiative, the aim was to share information about the projects running and inspire new youth to join and help out. They had seven new youth who attended and expressed interest in volunteering in future events. From this event, they will be working with a couple of university students to help reach out to the wider community. It was a lovely afternoon, lots of laughter and happy energy!
On the east of Melbourne, the weekly feeding service at a caravan park is still running, approximately 30 residents are being looked after each week. On northern suburbs of Melbourne a weekly homeless feeding service has been started also and is slowly gaining momentum.