Chaikhana Men’s Group
The SMRC Chaikhana (Tea House) is a social wellbeing program for Dari and Persian speaking men and their families that provides a comfortable and culturally appropriate space to make new connections, share food, enjoy music and access support.
Chaikhana provides a safe space for Afghan men to speak about issues and challenges they are experiencing, while encouraging them to use relevant support networks to enhance their quality of life.
Many members of the Persian, Pashto and Dari speaking communities experience significant hardships due to ongoing unrest in their home countries and a myriad of challenges that arise from displacement. Men in particular may find themselves isolated and aspects of their wellbeing compromised. Due to visa restrictions, these men are not allowed family re-unification or to visit their families back home, and often isolate themselves as they struggle to find common cultural connection.
The Chaikhana Program encourages the discussion of different matters within the community, such as:
- helping someone in need – financially and emotionally
- needs of the community
- happy and sad events
- assisting each other to find a job
- inviting community leaders for talks
- addressing social isolation
- positivity within the community.
Sessions take place every Friday 3:00pm-6:00pm at SMRC Level 1.
Chaikhana provides a safe space to engage with other members of their community experiencing similar challenges in a warm and friendly environment with the flow on effect showing growth in positive mental fitness. It is an introductory program that allows Afghan men to create a community environment that generates enthusiasm, so they can participate in other culturally appropriate activities and programs being offered in the community.
The Chaikhana group is delivered in partnership with Better Place Australia and funded by South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN) through the Australian Department of Health.