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A celebration of culture and community for Mirrabooka

13 February 2020

Rejoice and Suzan are among a diverse mix of stall holders taking part in the Mirrabooka Community Markets.

Beads and decorative jewellery remind Rejoice Zindo of Africa. The 22-year-old mother is now based in the suburb of Balga but she is originally from South Sudan.

“Women wore three or four strings of beads around their waist and beads are even placed around the waist of babies when they are a month or two old to show how they grow,” she said. “As they grow, more beads are added.”

Rejoice and her mother-in-law Suzan Dozi who began making beaded jewellery together about a year ago will be selling their handmade pieces as part of the third Mirrabooka Community Market to be held on Thursday. 

The pair is among a diverse mix of stall holders taking part in the grass roots market showcasing authentic food, arts, crafts and entertainment from around the world.

Due to civil war in her home country Rejoice spent time in Uganda before coming to Australia eight years ago as a teenager.

She says getting dressed up is something that brings a smile to the faces of many people from African countries, where bright coloured clothing and decorative jewellery are part of the culture.

Rejoice and Suzan have taken inspiration from jewellery from their native South Sudan.

"The type of beads we use were chosen as they look similar to our cultural beads that grow on the grass and we hope to use the real grassed beads from South Sudan in the near future" Rejoice said.

Like the other stall holders who make up the Mirrabooka Community Markets Rejoice and Suzan have attended information sessions to help them to properly prepare for holding a stall at the market.

More than simply another Perth market, these markets represent an opportunity for locals to showcase their talents and establish a small business whilst creating a strong sense of community.

Given the confidence in running a successful stall at these markets, it is hoped many participants will become active participants in other market opportunities and be able to generate income from their talents and skills.

The markets are an initiative led by MercyCare in partnership with The City of Stirling and The Square Mirrabooka, and federally funded by a Fostering Integration Grant from the Department of Home Affairs.

MercyCare’s Shammy Baijnath has been working with a community reference group coordinating the markets.

“The local community has really embraced this opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the local area and empower people to share their skills and passions,” she said.

MercyCare operates Western Australia’s only specialist Jobs and Skills Centre for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse background.

The third monthly market will be held on Thursday, February 13 at The Square Mirrabooka, with another market on March 19.

Stalls are in the Sudbury Road carpark of The Square Mirrabooka between 4pm and 9pm.

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