SEVA International, a non-profit organisation seeks to identify and support individuals and communities through Asset Based Capacity Building (ABCD) projects to work together to identify and resolve social issues and needs ofcommon concern.

sevaWith funding support from Multicultural NSW, SEVA has successfully completed an Empowering Community Champions Project. The objective of this project was to build community capacity and resilience through empowerment of Community Champions to enable them to provide first response support particularly to support women, aged and youth.

Participants originating from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Tibet, Fiji, Malaysia, Thailand and South America attended five workshops from 16 July to 8 October 2016, where they were trained in skills such as – community leadership skills, establishment and governance of community organisations, needs assessment, project planning, risk assessment and volunteering. Participants were also provided with an overview of complex community issues such as Aged Care, Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse and Grief Counselling. The workshops provided a great opportunity to exchange success stories and generate valuable concepts for future projects

Speakers at the workshops included Sunila Kotwal from White Ribbon, Marichu Gloria from Immigrant Women’s Speakout, Nalika Padmasena from Seniors Rights Service, Warren Draney from Salvos Counselling, Shakti Sah Raj from Mission Australia, Nazmin Khan from Relationships Australia and Joyce from Ageing and Disability Division of Ethnic Communities Council of NSW Inc. Soraya Raju from Strategic Style Image Consulting provided wonderful tips on dressing for success.

Sumati Advani, SEVA’s Project Co-ordinator said: “I have come across many instances where people have wonderful ideas and want to serve the community but don’t know where to begin. Very often, many community projects fail because of lack of understanding of basic project planning principles, project governance and accountability. Empowering Community Champions will help community groups to strengthen their skills and competencies so that they can sustain their efforts. Community Champions have learnt how to identify and engage with key stakeholders, form strategic partnerships and how to form robust organisational structures. They have learnt valuable skills on resource mobilisation and fundraising all of which will help them to deliver successful projects for their community.”

As many community representatives from Northern Beaches also expressed an interest in the training, SEVA teamed up with Northern Beaches Council to deliver a separate Building Community Capacity workshop which was delivered at Dee Why Civic Centre on October 15.

Sumati said, “As they say, you can feed a man or a woman fish for a day or teach them how to fish. Empowered Community Champions will help to build valuable capacity and resilience within their community through a sense of ownership and pride in delivering programs directly related to their community needs”.

For more information on SEVA visit

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