Connie Sivaly is the founder and director for Comfort Care Foundation (CCF). Her focus is reducing social inequalities for various disadvantaged communities – especially the homeless. Connie has experienced difficult life events and has managed to turn those lemons into lemonade, creating safe, supportive spaces for women, disadvantaged youth and other less privileged members of the community, hence why the motto for CCF is “-Because we care”.

    Connie was born in the beautiful Tanzania, and has been proud to call Australia home since 2000.

    “The West is a like a multicultural salad bowl, with different cultures and communities integrating yet still holding on to the differences that make them special. The richness in diversity is progressive and gives a hope of what the future holds for Australia. Our café in Footscray is one of the many small businesses that celebrate the strength in diversity and inclusion.”

    For Connie, it feels like home away from home. Footscray has a strong African community, with so many bright minds looking to create a better world for themselves and the community they live in.

    For changes in the last twenty years, Connie rates the development of more designated park areas as a highlight. She also feels there has also been a shift in how disadvantaged people are viewed, stigmas are being broken down

    “It is good to see more services being made available to help people needing social support. There is still more to be done but it has been a step in the right direction.

    Connie loves walking down the street and recognising all the faces. Many members of the community know of CCF’s efforts and will leave ‘pay it forwards’ at the café, and she often meets someone on the street who stops to thank her for the meal or other assistance they have received from CCF.

    For favourite hangouts, Connie loves CCF Café of course!

    “Footscray is bustling with so many little cafes and bakeries. There are a lot of options for authentic cuisine – Thai, Ethiopian, Nigerian, Chinese, Italian, etc. I can always count on the African hair salons for a good hair do.”

    And her hope for the future?

    “The West – Footscray in particular, has a strong sense of fostering community. I believe that ‘Justice begins next door’. A small kindness between strangers goes a long way. With Comfort Care, we would like to see our café grow in capability to serve more people in need and be part of the solution in reducing social inequalities, homelessness, poverty, loneliness, and substance abuse.

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