Helping rebuild lives after family violence
In Australia, one woman a week loses her life at the hands of a partner or former partner. Thousands more live with domestic and family violence every day, and due to complexities, feel helpless to escape their situation.
One organisation making a significant difference to the women and children impacted is Zahra Foundation Australia – and today, we’re proud to announce our support for the South Australian charity via our MatchWorks in the Community grant program.
About Zahra Foundation Australia
Zahra Foundation Australia was established in 2015 following the tragic murder of Zahra Abrahimzadeh. The Adelaide mother had endured more than 20 years of domestic violence before she was killed by her former husband in front of 300 witnesses in 2010. Now her legacy lives on through the establishment of Zahra Foundation Australia, an organisation focused on building women’s financial futures to break the cycle of family violence.
General Manager of Zahra Foundation, Gemma Burdon said their services are critical in helping women and children rebuild their lives after leaving a dangerous relationship.
“Once the immediate crisis has settled, that’s where we step in – with support including financial counselling, grants for families and programs that empower women to find economic independence,” Gemma said.
“Financial abuse and disadvantage is one of the biggest barriers to women leaving and remaining free from an abusive relationship. On average, women return to these relationships up to seven times, so helping them find financial independence is crucial.”
Pathways to economic independence
‘Pathways to Empowerment’ is a key initiative helping achieve this. Delivered over 9 weeks, the free program aims to break social isolation. It also helps restore important life-skills including self-esteem, budgeting skills, decision-making capabilities, and the right to personal space.
“At the start of the program, the women are very quiet, very insular, but by the end of the 9 weeks, they have a glow about them. They look like completely different people,” Gemma said.
‘Open House’ is another key program tackling social isolation; it connects Zahra Foundation clients to each other through activities and morning tea. The MatchWorks in the Community grant will be funnelled into this vital monthly initiative and support almost 200 women burdened by isolation.
“We’re so excited to join forces with MatchWorks to help remove the barrier of isolation from women’s lives,” Gemma said.
“This grant will help create a safer future for our clients and give them the opportunity to keep those vital connections made at the Zahra Foundation. It’s beautiful to watch these women build friendships with people they otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to meet.”
Employment Consultant, Nick Scheer said many MatchWorks clients had benefited from the programs and services delivered by the charity organisation.
“We refer many clients to Zahra Foundation Australia, so we hear first-hand the amazing work they do in the community,” Nick said.
“Walking alongside our clients to help make financial security a reality via employment is incredibly rewarding and we’re proud to be able to be able to partner with Zahra Foundation Australia to make a difference.”
Visit Zahra Foundation Australia website to find out how you can support their work.