By Aleksandra Bliszczyk

The Whittlesea Womanhood Association Inc is providing grocery bags and children’s clothing to women and families in the municipality who have lost work due to COVID-19.

President Niharika Dawar and vice president Sanaz Nasirpour have reached out to vulnerable women of culturally or linguistically diverse, CALD, backgrounds who have struggled during lockdowns.

“It’s an initiative we have taken for women and their families due to need, who have lost their jobs or shifts,” Ms Dawar said.

“We’re also providing kids’ essentials, brand new clothing for kids under three, warm socks for women, singlets for women, shoes for kids, and we’re buying from [local] businesses.

“I’m buying from them so we can provide some help to them. It’s support for them too.”

The volunteers have also put together grocery bags of rice, dried lentils, tinned beans, salt, sugar, pasta and pasta sauce, which are available to pick up in Mernda.

Whittlesea Womanhood Association started in March 2021 and acquired grant funding through the State Government’s priority response to multicultural communities during COVID-19 taskforce, which has covered the supplies.

Its mission is to increase CALD women’s opportunities to build social and cultural connections and help them to access health or support services – essential during the pandemic.

Ms Dawar said the past 18 months had been tough for migrant families as many face a lack of support and severe isolation.

“Multicultural people have their parents in their [home] country, and during COVID they haven’t been able to see them, so everyone is isolated,” she said.

“Their financial situation, some could not work due to the lockdown … and if childcare is closed they have to reduce their shifts to look after the kids as they could not send their kids to schools.”

The association has also been running COVID-19 vaccination information sessions and mental health sessions, and have community events planned for the coming months.

For more information, visit, or call 0468 366 566 for a grocery bag or essentials relief.