African communities in general and South Sudanese groups in particular are still grappling with issues affecting a small but growing section of troubled youth who are increasingly attracting attention from the media and right wing commentators and politicians.
There is growing interest from the Victorian government to address this issue, both from a political perspective, given that the elections are near, as well as from a social cohesion and community harmony standpoint. However, it appears that many of the government-funded programs that have been trying to address this issue are simply not yielding the desired outcomes.
Does the Victorian government have a clear strategy to address this issue? Are the agencies funded to deliver programs targeting these youths doing their job properly? Are community leaders engaging with their youth, especially troubled ones, in meaningful ways? Many people within African communities may respond negatively to all these questions, but to find out, AMA will be conducting a series of interviews with service providers, community leaders, youth leaders, police and other stakeholders to try to find out what is working, what is not working and what needs to be done to improve things in this space.
In this first interview we speak with CMY’s CEO Carmel Guerra. CMY (Centre for Multicultural Communities) has been working multicultural communities for over two decades and it has recently been funded to work with South Sudanese communities by the Victorian government.