Hutt Valley youth from Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Eritrea and Colombia celebrated twenty weeks of developing their media skills on Monday 16 April at the Dowse Art Museum.
The youth who took part in the Multicultural Youth Media Project worked alongside local print and radio journalists and photographers who supported the young people to develop and publish their own work.
The project run by Refugees as Survivors (RAS) and ChangeMakers Refugee Forum aimed to build the capacity of refugee-background youth and to increase awareness of people from refugee-backgrounds among other New Zealanders.
‘It has been great to watch the young people build their confidence and learn media skills throughout the project’ says Samson Sahele, one of the project’s coordinators and a Cross Cultural Advocate at RAS.
The young people designed newspaper pages with interviews, stories and photographs, created a photo essay as part of a Wellington exhibition, and developed and delivered a radio programme on Wellington’s Access Radio.
‘I really enjoyed the course, I learnt about the radio and newspapers and it helped me to improve my English skills’ says Jonathan San, one of the participants.
Both Refugees as Survivors Trust (RAS), who provides specialist mental health service for refugees and migrants, and ChangeMakers, who represents over 15 different refugee-background communities, aim to ensure that their clients can participate fully in New Zealand.
‘Both organisations are focussed on successful resettlement for New Zealanders who come from refugee backgrounds’ says Jeff Thomas, General Manager of RAS. ‘The project is a great way of engaging youth and ensuring that can develop new skills, as well as raising awareness of refugee-background communities among other New Zealanders.’
Stories and photographs from the project will be on display at the War Memorial Library in Lower Hutt, from Tuesday 17 April to Monday 23 April 2012.
For more information contact Samson Sahele, Cross-Cultural Advocate with Refugees as Survivors Trust on 04-8050359 or Kirsten Le Harivel, Youth Development Coordinator at ChangeMakers Refugee Forum on 04- 801 5812.