SCARF Youth program supports young refugee entrants to thrive in their new communities.

Young people from refugee backgrounds have experienced significant disruption and months or years of uncertainty before arrival in Australia. Then, they’re faced with another challenge: rebuilding their lives and transitioning to adulthood in a new country where everything, from language to school, is unfamiliar. 

 The SCARF youth program aims to build capacity and confidence in young people from refugee backgrounds (aged 12-24 years) during their transition to life in the Illawarra, Australia. As a part of this program, SCARF facilitates targeted initiatives promoting well-being, personal development, social engagement and positive leadership.

SCARF youth activities include a range of social, recreational and educational initiatives. SCARF regularly consults young people from refugee backgrounds to ensure activities are relevant and supporting current interests and needs. As a result, our Youth activities are regularly updated.

In the past, activities have included belly dancing and drumming workshops, social hangouts at Sifters, theatre improvisation classes, art, music and dance classes, choir, First Aid Courses, leadership sessions, team sports, personal development camps (for boys and girls), surf and swimming lessons, sight-seeing trips, picnics and social outings.

In 2018, SCARF launched ‘Let’s Lead’, a leadership program delivered in partnership with Cameron Brown from Explore Discover Act.

Why the SCARF Youth Program matters

Building Confidence

When you feel different from your peers as a young person, it can be difficult to have confidence and good self-esteem. SCARF Youth provides a safe environment where refugee entrant youth are supported to see and value their own skills, talents, culture and perspectives. This encourages the development of confidence and self-worth.

Creating Connections

It can be hard to build social and community networks when you and your family are new to a community. SCARF Youth activities are inclusive spaces where young people from all backgrounds can form friendships and develop and sense of belonging, and where community and professional networks can be established.

Realising Potential

Young people from refugee backgrounds bring diverse skills, talents, perspectives and knowledge to their new communities. But without access to opportunities, resources and networks, this potential can go unrealised. SCARF Youth builds the capacity of young people from refugee backgrounds to apply by imparting advice and guidance for

'Let's Lead' Youth Leadership Program

On March 3, 2018, the ‘Let’s Lead’ program was officially launched following a pilot program in 2017. ‘Let’s Lead’ is a leadership project for culturally and linguistically diverse youth (particularly refugee youth) offering opportunities for personal development, cross-cultural learning and community engagement. The program will aim to develop an ability to lead in daily thoughts, words, and actions through monthly workshops. SCARF has partnered with Cameron Brown from Explore Discover Act for the delivery of the program.  

“Involvement in the coordination of SCARF YOUTH was and always been a great pleasure for me. I, personally, enjoyed every minute…By the end of 2017, we received a lot of fantastic feedbacks and recommendations which to me and the team sounds like a great and excellent success, and I am so proud to say that right now, every single person of our young community is looking forward to the start of their 2018 journey with SCARF! Volunteering with SCARF is like raising your hand to support social cohesion and community development.”
Sediqah, SCARF youth program volunteer
"Hi my name is Su Meh, I’m 19 years old. I come from Thailand. I’ve been in Australia for 2 months. I’m involved in the SCARF Leadership Program so I can learn how to improve myself and learn how to manage anything. I also want to make a new friend. I want to learn how to communicate with other people because I am new for this year and everything is new for me. I try everyday to develop myself. Not only for me but for my family and to develop friendship."
Su Meh, 'Let's Lead' participant

Supporting SCARF Youth

SCARF relies on support from the wider community to deliver our Youth Programs. There are many ways you can contribute, including volunteering, holding a fundraiser, or donating to SCARF.