In early 2020 CEH’s Multicultural Health Support Service worked with Ballarat Community Health (BCH) to develop and implement a peer educator training project. This project was funded under the Safer Pathways for Women from Refugee and Immigrant Backgrounds.
The project aims to;
- Improve clients’ capacity to access, understand and use information to make decisions about their healthcare and well-being.
- To develop both community service providers’ capacity to recognize and respond to family violence, and to create more culturally safe and inclusive health services in the Central Highlands and western region of Victoria.
- Develop the framework of a peer education project at BCH that is able to be supported and developed into the future by staff at BHC.
The participants recruited to this project were primarily from refugee and migrant backgrounds in the Ballarat region. The material and resources for this project were developed in a co-design process.
Firstly, an evidence-based train the trainer manual was made for the peer educators. This manual included material on community education and engagement, groups work, role of peer educators, self-advocacy, cultural competence, health beliefs and explanatory models of health, healthy relationships, health literacy, and self-care.
Following this a two day train the trainer workshop was delivered to a group of peer educators in an inclusive, interactive, participatory, and gender and culturally sensitive way.
Lastly, an employer guidance manual was developed for BCH, integrating it with BCH policies and procedures where relevant, and setting out the structures and processes needed to manage and run a successful peer education project.
The project was scheduled to be completed by December 2020, but due to delays from the Covid 19 pandemic, the project was finalised in March 2021.