A new project to strengthen connections between young people, their families and their communities has been launched in Melbourne’s south-east and west.

The Ubuntu Empowering Mothers project will help build the capacity of African Australian mothers to strengthen family, community and societal relationships and to support young people to live fulfilling lives.

The project provides direct support to mothers, young people and families and is a partnership between the University of Melbourne and two grassroots African Australian community organisations, Afri-Aus Care and the Australian-African Foundation for Retention and Opportunity (AAFRO).

As well as supporting up to 100 families in Melbourne’s south-east and west to connect them with the right services, the project will also develop guidelines and a toolkit for service providers, professionals, community organisations and government to better work with African-Australian families in respectful, inclusive and culturally responsive ways.

The project is grounded in the African philosophy of Ubuntu which emphasises the importance of connections and strong relationships between individuals, families and communities and is often described by the statement ‘I am because we are’.

The Ubuntu Empowering Mothers project received $516,000 in funding, with project partners also contributing $204,000.