Opening the Valley’s doors

Volunteers, family members and friends of the United Muslim Sisters of Latrobe Valley will celebrate the group’s four years of support to the region’s multicultural population on Saturday.

UMSLV president Arfa Khan said the focus for this year’s event would be on children, and their mothers and families were welcome to take part in the activities.

“It’s also about creating awareness for our local immigrants and people from diverse backgrounds,” Ms Khan said.

“Every year we do a celebration in the form of raising funds for some form of charity.”

Ms Khan said it would be nice for the families to know they are supporting the work of Berry Street, with all proceeds from the event going towards the foster care foundation.

She said some staff from Berry Street would also host activities they would normally run in schools to encourage students to become more engaged.

“We have some good days and some bad days and it’s about how to manage that,” Ms Khan said.

Ms Khan joined UMSLV about six months after the group formed in 2013 with the intention to provide a much needed platform for Muslim families to “mingle and socialise”.

Education for the community is UMSLV’s main intention, as is its attempt to “break the isolation” of moving to a new home and new country.

“We do regular holiday activities for children. We do religious festivals,” Ms Khan said.

Aside from their regular festivities, this year UMSLV worked with Gippsland Multicultural Services to be a point of contact for Latrobe Valley’s Muslim population.

“(GMS) can come and talk to us and we can be the bridge to the service provider and say these are the needs of the people living in our Gippsland community,” she said.

United Muslim Sisters of Latrobe Valley will celebrate its fourth birthday on Saturday between 1pm and 4pm at Anglican Community Hall at 25 Contingent Street, Trafalgar.

Entry is by gold coin donation, or $5 per family. Take a plate of food to share.

There will be auctions and family giveaways on the day.

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