by Trixie Pavey, Spectrum, Youth Settlement
On Tuesday 20th June we held a youth-led event for World Refugee Day. The event was the culmination of projects facilitated throughout term 1 and 2 with newly arrived young people studying English at Melbourne Polytechnic. While Spectrum led these projects, we couldn’t have done it without or strong partnerships with Melbourne Polytechnic, Darebin Youth Services and Darebin Community Health Centre.
The first project called Community Orientation, focuses on supporting very newly arrived young people to become familiar with the local community by participating in a series of excursions. Each week we visited a new community location, had a tour and presentation of the services offered and engaged in activities that focused on improving English language and social skills development. We ran this program throughout terms one and two, with two different groups of young people.
The second project called Home-Words, uses audio art such as poetry, spoken word and hip-hop, as a means of youth engagement, confidence building, English language improvement and storytelling. Participants worked with local poets and hip-hop artists, over a series of workshops, to create two audio tracks/songs. The theme was ‘what is home and how do we create home in a new place?’, which encouraged participants to expand vocabulary and understanding of speaking about emotions, memories and hopes for the future.
The event was planned, managed and hosted by the young people we were working with, which was part of the leadership skills development. We saw young people give presentations about issues that are important to them, such as the Refugee Crisis and Domestic Violence. We also launched the new tracks created in the Home-Words program, which you can listen to the tracks online at Bandcamp: http://yamec.bandcamp.com/album/home-words