Wagga’s African community continues to foster relationships and friendships and strengthen the community within the city.
The Wagga African Association’s (Wafrica) 12th annual Intercultural Program was held at Mount Austin Public School over the school holidays for five days with around 70 children in attendance.
Wafrica president Randy Adjonu said the intercultural program was started to bring African children and children from other communities together in a safe environment.
“The whole idea was to bring them together in an environment where they can play and learn rather than being glued to their TVs and tablets all day,” Randy said.
“We infuse crafts, sports, numeracy, literacy and leadership skills.
“We separate the age groups. We have the big kids and we try to create something for them so they can also learn something to give back to the community.”
Randy said children who participated in the program loved what they got to do.
“They get to meet friends, play and do kids-related activities,” he said.
“This year we introduced a leadership discussion for the teens and they loved it.”
The association president said the program had been vital for the African community in Wagga.
“It’s important and the community is supportive of it … why we have them bringing in their kids and participating in the program,” Randy said.
“It shows they’re passionate about it … they drop in when they’re able to volunteer to make sure things run smoothly.”
Randy and other members of Wafrica encourage other community members to participate in the yearly program.
“We’ve labelled it an intercultural program rather than an African thing … we want everyone to participate in the program for the kids,” Randy said.
Randy said the association had changed the programs over the years to make them more suitable for the times.
“We were trying to get our head around things post-COVID last year but the intercultural program went ahead as planned,” he said. “But the year was a bit slow.”
“We are planning to do a few things this year. We’re planning a youth activity … something they would want to do rather than us telling them.
“We want them to channel their interest and help drive the activities.”
The association is also looking into tailored programs for women.
As part of this year’s program, the group travelled to Narrandera’s Lake Talbot Water Park.
The group finished the program with a community event at the Botanic Gardens.
A group of volunteers from Lowana Study Centre in Sydney also attend yearly to help with the program.