Fun way to build trust

Better understanding: Abass, Mohammad, Senior Constable Belinda Prince, Hazem El Masri and John Dangas looking forward to a good relationship. Picture: Jane Dyson
Better understanding: Abass, Mohammad, Senior Constable Belinda Prince, Hazem El Masri and John Dangas looking forward to a good relationship. Picture: Jane Dyson

SIXTEEN Muslim boys aged 14 to 16 from St George schools have volunteered to be involved in a partnership with police.

The Muslim Youth and Police Partnership Project aims to build positive relationships.

The six-week program, organised by St George Youth Services, police and the PCYC, includes team building, outdoor adventure activities, sports and personal development and life skills workshops.

One of the first activities was a game of OzTag football with police officers at the Rockdale PCYC.

Former Canterbury Bulldog Hazem El Mazri, who does a lot of work with Muslim youth, took part.

There will also be interactive role-playing activities where young people and police reverse their roles and experience what it's like to be each other, increasing mutual understanding.

St George Youth Services manager Valentina Angelovska said a similar group run last year showed that this project greatly improved positive relationships.

"Young people reported that their respect for police increased through their involvement . . . and the police gave positive feedback that they obtained valuable insight into engaging with young people," Ms Angelovska said.

The project was established in 2008 as part of the Community Policing Partnership, funded by the Human Rights Commission and Australian Multicultural Foundation following Muslim youth summits organised by the foundation.

Comments