By Osman Shihaby And Ahmed Ali
MEGGA is an organization that represents a group of African Muslim Girls in Australia. The members of the group started with two girls living in Flemington. Their idea was to gather African girls in order to discuss women and girls’ issues among the community.
Later, they discussed how to get funding for their activities. The group started its activities in January 2010. They held different events like Ramadan dinner and mother and daughter celebration (Be Proud of Me Mum). They ran a fund raising dinner and they collected eight hundred dollars to fund their activities. From this money they contributed to the annual Ramadan EFTAR, where they invited non Muslims and helped inform them about Islam and the purpose of Ramadan and charity. When they celebrated they bought their food and coffee from the local restaurants. Their main idea is to unite young Muslim girls and keep them off the street. They also run indoor sports such as soccer, basketball, swimming, table tennis and volleyball.
The aims of the young girls are:-
- Personal development: because they are young and don’t have life experience. It helps build confidence, self esteem and to have fun at the same time.
- Physical activities: to be healthier by doing indoor soccer, swimming, basketball, and volley ball.
- Educational activities: they have a book club where every member reads a book weekly and then discusses it with others.
- Islamic education: in order to learn more about their religion, they attend lectures and short courses. they also bring a guest speaker to give a talk.
- Life skills: they organize a day and teach each other cooking and sewing.
- Day trips and camps: they organize trips and camps so they can explore the environment.
- Charity work: they are planning to visit nursing homes and do volunteering work.
MEGGA held a mother and daughter evening event (Be Proud of Me and Mum). They invited about 200 people who attended the event with their traditional food. The aim of the evening was to bring mums and daughters together. In the evening there was music, poetry, and speeches. All the mums were proud of their daughters for organizing the night and inviting them. Everyone was so happy the way their daughters were thinking about them.
As African Community members, we are also proud of these young girls and we would like to see more young people coming with some ideas to support each other in a good way and to keep away from trouble. We also hope that they will contribute to the wider community in Australia which is their second country.