As a not for profit registered charity, E-focus is all about helping people into work. Sometimes this means early preparation projects that engage with local communities and other groups to set the foundations for later employment related work.
Each year E-focus contributes more than 300k from generated income to local projects. We do this in collaboration with other major organisations and groups including: Banyule Council, Banyule and Nillumbik Youth Services, Latrobe University, Local Community Policing via VicPol, Bendigo Bank, Austin Health and the Local Learning and Employment Network (BNLLEN).
Community Development is about connection to other groups and agencies and starts from a position of ‘what can we do to help’ and how can we contribute to the work and planning the group has in mind to improve a situation or issue. It is work we do with ‘with’ people and groups – not ‘to’ or ‘for’. The starting point is often a conversation or invitation to discuss an issue and is based on respect , trust and goodwill.
A great example of collaborative community development project is the ourHub at Oriel Rd, Heidelberg West. The ourHub is a place that is managed by E-focus but includes the co-location of various groups and agencies – each making a contribution as they are able and providing a space for local residents to access various forms of assistance and information (as well as a free internet hub).
A further example of Community Development is the Himilo Project. This project is funded by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, auspiced and supported by E-focus and is led and directed by the local community – including the groups mentioned above as well as the Somali – Australian Association of Victoria and key religious leaders. The focus of the project is about – Training and Employment, Family and Children and Culture and Religion – improvement in these three key areas will strengthen the local community and help it thrive as part of Australia’s rich multicultural society.