Harman Foundation: Meaningful support services for Australia’s multicultural communities
In 2012, Harman Foundation founders Harinder and Maninder Singh went through a loss that saw the world around them crumble.
While their friends and family offered their consistent love and consolation, both Harinder and Maninder found it difficult to deal with their overwhelming grief, which led them to search for counsellors within their community for further support – a search that was left fruitless.
Realising that not everyone is lucky enough to have a strong support network of loved ones around them, particularly those of migrant backgrounds in Australia, the couple set out on a mission to deliver services that would help alleviate grief within multicultural communities.
So, on the first anniversary of the tragic loss of their young son, the Harman Foundation was born – an organisation that aims to deliver open, empathic support, guidance and reassurance to all multicultural community members.
“This journey of grief, of losing your own child, is the hardest on this earth”, co-founder Harinder Singh explained.
“I couldn’t find any number that I could ring to connect with people going through grief at the same time.”
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Using their experiences to guide their journey, Harinder and Maninder conducted surveys of around 500 people to identify gaps for multicultural communities, helping establish the Harman Foundation’s key support services, which include:
- 24/7 crisis hotline
- Chaplaincy services
- Bereavement services
- Family support services
- HER House
- Disabled support services
The Harman Foundation’s team is made up entirely by volunteers of all backgrounds, including Indian, Australian, Vietnamese, Sri Lankan, and Chinese.
“A lot of us are from migrant backgrounds and we know how much we have gone through with hardships [of our own],” Harinder said.
“Our approach is a supportive approach, rather than a therapeutic one.
“We are all qualified counsellors, done mental health and first aid training, and are fully aware of how to handle situations. We view counselling as a supportive approach, helping someone through a hard time.”
As a non-funded community organisation, the Harman Foundation relies heavily on gracious donations from people in the community, which helps keep their organisation alive.
“Donate money, donate time or donate your ideas – whatever you can do small or big,” Harinder said.
“This country has given us so much positivity in our lives, and this is our chance to now… be there for other migrants who may be going through an unexplainable hardship in their lives.”
To learn more about the Harman Foundation, to get involved or to donate, head to their website HERE