Our Fusion programmes provide support and the chance to build community and relationship with young people from a former refugee background. We also work towards introducing them to opportunities to get involved in their community. We work together with the Red Cross to provide these programmes. In the past these programmes have only taken place in the school holidays.
Very excitingly we have responded to a need at Hutt Valley High School and have started working with the school to provide support for their former refugee and migrant students. This involves our Fusion workers, Nicola Fleming and Manan Acharya, attending the weekly lunch time gathering called Kiwi Club as well as being available for mentoring time. We started building our relationship with the Hutt Valley High young people with a two day programme where we enjoyed bowling and volleyball. We looked at what made up our identity and who forms our support base and were also very lucky to have Daniel Gamboa Salazar (NZ National Refugee Youth Council) come and share his story from refugee to where he is today.
One of the participants had this to say at the end of the two days:
“The last two days have been great for me and it was one of the coolest days of my life. The things I learnt in the last two days were respect, support, teamwork, appreciation and friendship. These things have changed me a lot. They taught me how to communicate, how to find friends and most importantly how to respect each other.”
Our Fusion Plus programme continues to support a group of about 18 former refugee young people on a fortnightly basis in Lower Hutt. Providing space for them to hang out, have fun and build community. We are working on how we can expand this programme into the other settlement areas we engage in to provide longer term support for our school holiday programme particiapants.
We are looking forward to further growth of the Fusion programme and the chance to impact on even more former refugee young people.