Day 5: Driving Programs
Diversitat’s Skills to Empower Driving Program aims to facilitate driver education and practice for new arrivals, to help them achieve their settlement goals and become active and independent participants in the community. Skills to Empower Driving Program is comprised of three core components:
Safe Driving Program
A classroom based program for those over the age of 21. Through the program, participants learn about their legal responsibilities as road users, safe driving, road rules, purchasing a car, car maintenance, child restraints, insurance, the role of police and where to seek further assistance. These sessions are facilitated by a qualified trainer, using interpreters in conjunction with a number of key partners within the community.
Driving Mentor Program
This is a volunteer based program aimed at enabling learner drivers to gain the hours of driving practice required to obtain their probationary licence. The idea of the program, is to give refugees who have their learner’s permit, but who do not have a car, or any means of gaining valuable driving practice, the chance to gain on-road experience, so they are more likely to attain their probationary license. Volunteer mentors provide supervision for learners in one of Diversitat’s five-star safety-rated vehicles.
A professional driving instructor is used to support the work of the volunteer mentors.
Diversitat’s Skills to Empower Driving School is facilitated by a highly experienced instructor and offers culturally appropriate lessons to suit the needs of learner drivers. The Driving School offers driving lessons in English, Dari, Farsi and Hazaraghi, enabling those settling in the region to be able to be fully engaged in lessons.
I’ve been volunteering with the Diversitat driver mentor program for over a year now. I help people practice their driving skills before they go on to pass their licence test and get their P plates. I really enjoy the challenge of taking someone who may have never driven before and seeing them progress to a level where they can get their licence and drive on their own. It’s so important for someone to be able to drive so that they can become a part of the community around them, get to work, go to the shops, all of the things that we tend to take for granted. What I really enjoy though, is meeting new people from vastly different backgrounds to my own and hearing their stories. I sometimes get to meet their families and even get to sample some great food.
Kurt Volunteer driving mentor Driving Practice Program
You can support this program by donating to the Celebrating Diversity Christmas Appeal.