Strengthening relationships between generations in immigrant/refugee communities

All too often, relationships between young people and their parents and grandparents become strained after experiences of migration. The Dulwich Centre Foundation is now involved in developing ways of working that provide opportunities for ‘inter-generational honouring’.

As this is a crucial issue in many communities, we’re looking forward to seeing a range of local projects come out of this initiative – in Australia, Canada, and around the world.

Some of the projects we are exploring include:

  • hosting local community conversations across generations where significant strains are occurring
  • making links between social service workers in countries of migration, and their countries of origin
  • developing resources for workers to assist in working with immigrant communities
  • developing new methodologies for working across generations, including collective timelines and the ‘Kite of Life’.
  • Scarborough Tamil Community: Intergenerational Alliance project

In 2010, Dulwich Centre Foundation colleagues at Oolagen Community Services and Turning Point Youth Services received funding to bring the ideas and practices of the Kite of Life intergenerational alliance to a new community, specifically the Tamil community in the neighbouring suburb of Scarborough. This new project will combine narrative therapy and art therapy ideas in order to find new ways to address intergenerational conflict.

One of the unique aspects of this project is that community members who were involved in the St. James Town project will be trained in some narrative therapy ideas and will help facilitate the group. The idea is that the project will be able to become self-sustaining and similar groups can be run in the future. This project will use the Kite of Life methodology, as well as explore new ways of dealing with issues facing immigrant communities – using, art, music, video, photography, and dance.

Kite of Life video, book, and training


The Kite of Life flies to Sri Lanka

While the Kite of Life was originally developed in collaboration with the Tamil community in Canada, Thilaka Xavier was determined that one day it would be shared with those in Sri Lanka. This has now occurred! What’s more, those working with vulnerable children in Sri Lanka are now using the Kite of Life in their work. The following publication describes this and also includes a moving exchange of letters between the Tamil community in Canada and Sri Lankan colleagues.  Three versions of the publication are included here, one in English, one in Tamil and one in Sinhalese.

This project was held in collaboration with LEADS. And the publication was funded by the Australian Government through the Direct Aid Program.


Responding to children who have experienced abuse and exploitation: A resource for Sri Lankan practitioners 


Sinhalese version


Tamil version


For more information
If you’re interested in being involved in these projects, or are a potential funder, and would like to know how you might be able to help, please contact us:
Phone: + 61 8 8223 3966

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