The Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) packs have been created through collaborative discussion with women at Waminda in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our beautiful packs are boxes of items and activities that help people feel better in uncertain times. They are as tailored as they can be to each family and person in Community. They contain a range of arts and craft activities, bunting kits, baby packs, children’s books, school supplies, Aboriginal story stones, Weaving kits, Aboriginal flag making kits, fishing gear, journals and diaries, painting canvases and books, plants and seeds, puzzles, mindfulness activities, kids craft kits, colouring books and SEWB resource information.
We are very proud of how well they have come together. And how the packs are a little symbol of how we are thinking about, and here for Community at this time.
Why did we collaboratively create them?
Aboriginal people have a long history of resilience and resistance, and we wanted to support Community as much as we could to provide culturally safe and supportive SEWB support, therapeutic activities and information to help keep Community feeling well, strong and connected.
Isolation and fear in community, as well as disconnection from family, Country and Culture for some, has been challenging for some families.
We wanted to create some culturally safe fun and creative ideas that help families connect to each other, feel stronger, cared about and bring a sense of belonging and joy to peoples’ days.
We wanted community to know that Waminda is here to support them in every way we can.
How do the contents of the packs help Community through tough times?
Waminda wanted to support parents keep kids feeling engaged, having fun, help them express their feelings and telling stories through art.
We also wanted to provide some nurturing activities for older children and adults such as weaving and Story Stones, to help adults feel cared for, more connected to self and Culture as much as we could, so they feel strong in themselves as parents and Elders.
The art activities help people tell their stories, share experiences, and express themselves artistically. Art as Healing is an important part of our therapeutic work at Waminda. We want women and their families to feel supported, to feel hopeful, and to create memories with their families at home. Art can be a collective experience that allows us to feel connected to self, and to the whole.
How does this activity keep in alignment with the Waminda Model of Care and Balaang healing framework?
Being an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service our first priority is always to our families in communities. During times such as these it’s our responsibility to ensure that our communities still access services, as this is when the community need can be greater in different ways to usual business. Waminda’s MOC and Balaang Healing Framework delivers a holistic wrap-around service, so when we create the SEWB packs along with food packs for our client’s we are continuing to service our community. By being operational in different ways we keep connection with community and give support, in return our families feel less isolated which is beneficial to their SEWB.
What has been the response?
- Families have been very excited and grateful
- There have been lots of creativity and art items produced
- Parents have sent photos of their kids having fun doing art together
- People feel cared about and thought of
- Waminda encourages feedback via workers, social media or word of mouth so we all feel connected and interested in what other people are doing and how they are all going through this strange time. We look forward to sharing the art activities with others on our social media platforms, enhancing connectivity and belonging.
Any other benefits to staff and the service in doing this?
- We have had staff from a range of Waminda SEWB teams supporting this project, contributing ideas and helping keep it aligned with our Balaang Healing Framework, so it has been a special experience for us all.
- Staff feel a great sense of wellbeing in spending time together, yarning and creating beautiful packs.
- Everyone who wants to contribute has input, so it’s a truly collaborative process
- Greater sense of connection we have with each other whilst doing something supportive for Community
- Staff getting the opportunity to safely spend a little time with other staff in a time that is socially isolating for everyone
- We get to see the look of joy on people’s faces when they get the packs, and it is heartwarming for us all
- Looking after Community. Most staff ARE Community.
Waminda is an Aboriginal organisation lead by women that’s been established for 36 years, providing culturally safe holistic and wellbeing services to the women and their Aboriginal families in the Shoalhaven communities on the South Coast of NSW.
Aunty Cheryl Harrison
Balaang Gunyah Worker