Afri-Aus Care is a not-for-profit organisation run by a group of volunteer professionals, many with migrant backgrounds. The organisation was founded by Ms Selba Luka, who experienced hardship and conflict within her family after arriving in Australia and made it her mission to help those experiencing similar difficulties. Afri-Aus Care is governed by a board of community leaders and health professionals, and is supported by many organisations focussed on helping youth at risk and their families from African backgrounds.
Their mission is to improve the mental health of migrant youth at risk, through counselling and social programs which build bridges with main-stream services.
Crime prevention through basketball is one of the objectives of the programs. The senior team is called the Black Rhinos, based in Dandenong. Through the success of the Black Rhinos there are now female teams and junior teams. There is outreach also into schools and colleges in the Dandenong district. Selba works closely with the police and the justice system to advocate on behalf of youth who have transgressed, and to foster an awareness of cultural and legal norms in Australian society.
Many of the clients of Afri-Aus Care come via the criminal justice system because they have experienced unresolved mental health issues, alcohol and other drug use and/or family conflict. Afri-Aus Care offers education about mental health, addresses mental health taboos, and mediates on behalf of clients within main-stream services to get them cultural-specific counselling, referrals, case management and programs for social engagement and personal development.
In March 2020, Selba Luka gave an illustrated address on Afri-Aus Care during a service of worship at Toorak Uniting Church.
Presentation of a cheque to Selba Luka, being funds raised by the Toorak Ecumenical Op Shop, and distributed from the Toorak Uniting Church. Left to right: Rev Dr Christopher Page, Selba Luka of Afri-Aus Care, and Mrs Carrlo Jack, representing the Op Shop.
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