adobe indesign database Buy Adobe Illustrator CS5 for Mac OEM - Online Software Downloads Center adobe creative suite 3 contents adobe photoshop cs upgrade windows Buy Adobe Illustrator CS5 OEM - Online Software Downloads Center adobe indesign cs2 warez adobe indesign free downloads Buy Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection OEM - Online Software Downloads Center open sourc corel draw adobe illustrator adobe photoshop free online tutorial Buy Adobe Flash Professional CS5 for Mac OEM - Online Software Downloads Center fonts for adobe photoshop cs adobe creative suite 2 Buy Adobe Flash Professional CS5 OEM - Online Software Downloads Center purchase adobe photoshop cs2 transparent colour gif in adobe photoshop Buy Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended for Mac OEM - Online Software Downloads Center adobe indesign cs palettes adobe photoshop and not elements cs Buy Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 for Mac OEM - Online Software Downloads Center oem adobe photoshop cs2 download adobe photoshop 7.01 Buy Adobe InDesign CS5 for Mac OEM - Online Software Downloads Center adobe indesign xml adobe photoshop 6 upgrade Buy Adobe InDesign CS5 OEM - Online Software Downloads Center adobe cs3 keygenerator dreamweaver adobe illustrator tutorials post cards Buy Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection for Mac OEM - Online Software Downloads Center adobe photoshop black and white images adobe creative free photo suite Buy Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 OEM - Online Software Downloads Center adobe illustrator course outline adobe photoshop elements 5.0 photo editing Buy Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended OEM - Online Software Downloads Center adobe cs3 photoshop oem

Posts Tagged ‘youth perspective’

The Youth Guide to Globalisation

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

jeansFor Michael from Ghana, globalisation means the unfair global trade in his country’s agricultural products. For Norma from Honduras, globalisation represents the consumer culture she believes is destrying her country’s national identity. While Akinsami from Nigeria considers the globalisation of human rights as beneficial in halting human rights abuses.

This guide introduces  us to globalisation, it’s definitions, history and some key players. It provides us with alternative answers and explains why young people are SO important in this debate.

It takes us on a journey around the world from Africa to the Pacific Islands and also looks at 7 global topics such as education, trade and newly emerging issues.

Once all the research done the  guide lays out 10 major ways in which we can influence the way the world is headed!

You can join our library and get books and DVDs out for Free!

Earthless Trees

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Nicholas Mutch

trees-teamEarthless Trees, a book with eleven diverse short stories exploring the experiences of refugees in New Zealand, gives a unique insight into a group of people whose stories deserve to be told. In reading this book, and in writing this article, I came to feel something of a strange, out of place emotion. Despite some of the horrible imagery and the enormous trials faced by some of these refugees, I almost felt a pang of envy. As all writers can attest to, I aspire to have a personal story worthy writing about, and I know that nothing I could write about my life, no matter how eloquent or well written could be anywhere near as interesting or moving as the story of someone who has been displaced from their homeland. I am sure I would think differently if I had experienced war, famine or persecution, and I don’t wish to diminish the refugee experience, but I found Earthless Trees a fascinating collection of stories worth telling.

Refugees in New Zealand
When talking about refugee experiences it is very important to know some background information. The term refugee is sometimes used a little loosely but the United Nations has a very specific definition: ‘A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.’ Basically, what all that means is someone is forced to seek refuge in a foreign country because their safety, human rights or lives are at risk in their home country owing to their ethnicity or beliefs. An immigrant on the other hand is someone who voluntarily moves from one country to another for any number of various reasons. Figures vary, but the UNHCR - The UN refugee agency - reports that there are over 11 million people who fit these criteria.

Although the exact number varies, New Zealand has a quota of 750 refugees it accepts per year. Once they have been accepted into the country, refugees can ‘sponsor’ family members (including children and spouses) to come and join them. There are also many other people who seek asylum on reaching New Zealand.


Refugee Stories
The stories in Earthless Trees detail the experiences of young refugees before, during and after their journeys to New Zealand. Refugees generally come from countries that are burdened with anything from a dictatorial regime, such as the one Yugoslavia suffered in the 1990s, to the conflict, civil war and anarchy which has devastated Somalia since the 1970s. One of the best things the book does is give destructive conflicts, such as these, a very human face. Joseph Stalin once made the morbidly insightful comment that the death of one man is a tragedy; the death of millions is a statistic. Telling the stories of individuals who survive, despite losing their family, homes and sense of security in these conflicts, is far more powerful than a report that states something like ‘74 people were killed today in a bombing raid.’

The stories themselves are the experiences of young refugees from Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan. With a few exceptions, the stories are honest and saddening depictions of life in war torn situations. Even though these stories are very personal descriptions of the situations refugees found themselves in, I would have found it helpful to have some background information about the specific conflicts. This would have given me a better understanding of the historical context of the stories. This does, however, offer interested readers a good opportunity to do some research of their own, something I would recommend to make to get the most out of the stories.

caligWhile all the stories are very interesting, the highlight for me was two stories written by Shamim Homayun, ‘Words of Honey and Sugar’ and ‘Elements of Good Calligraphy’. They are stories about Afghanistan’s cultural history, with one story describing the experiences of girl whose father ran an opium den, and the second about the art of ancient Arabic calligraphy. These stories were fascinating as they were beautifully written by Shamim, who has a great eye for suspense and drama, while at the same time introducing me to elements of Arabic culture and history that were completely new to me.

All of the stories in Earthless Trees deserve to be read, as they contain poignant and moving accounts of real life experiences and situations that you might otherwise never hear about. The only way to really understand these stories of course is to read the book, so why don’t you contact Refugees as Survivors and purchase a copy for yourself!


It is World Refugee Day on June 20, but it is always a good time to get involved in helping make the difficult lives of New Zealand refugees easier. Check out the ideas below.

•The easiest way to help out is simply to be a friend to refugees in your school or community.

•Find out more about refugees - this may not sound like much, but the more we understand about the struggles refugees face, the more likely we are to create worthwhile friendships and welcoming communities.

•Think about volunteering, check out


earthless-trees-cover1Check out some articles by refugees at Just Focus:

Watch videos from the YouTube Young Refugees Speak Up channel

Have a look at refugee focused sites like:

Refugees as Survivors: &


Refugee Services Aotearoa NZ:

Voice It (a radio programme and publication from young refugees in Aotearoa NZ):

Mixit (Auckland based arts project):

INTERVIEW with Samson Sahele (Coordinator of the Earthless Trees Project)

What was the main purpose of Earthless Trees?

The main purposes were:

-to build capacity in young refugees,
-teach creative writing skills,
-creating a career path and to helping young refugees with their education
-spread the word about the situation of refugees in New Zealand.

How have the participants of the project contributed to their local communities?

The participants have become a voice of their community by telling their community issues to different main stream media sectors.

The participants have become roles model for the young refugee groups in Wellington. They also have now the confidence to participate in mainstream writing groups and other public events on behalf of their community.

What do you think is the best way for people to get involved if they want to lend helping hand to refugees in their local communities?

The best way for people from the host community to get involved is by visiting our office, by visiting different refugee service provider web sites, becoming volunteers and by participating in community events such as World Refugee day on ‘09 June 20th.

This article was originally published in Tearaway Magazine.

Earthless Trees - Short Stories by Young Refugees in NZ

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Edited by Pauline Frances

trees_photo1Created during a series of writing workshops, these vibrant stories provide an insight into the lives of young New Zealanders - individuals who came to New Zealand seeking security and freedom.

The Wellington Refugees as Survivors Trust (RAS) put together 10 workshops for participants from Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Ethiopia and Afghanistan. Writers Dame Fiona Kidman and Dr Ingrid Horrocks also volunteered their expertise.

Some of the stories tell of life in the countries these young people come from including disastrous situations such as war, while others are personal memories of new friendships made in New Zealand.

Our library copy is even signed by some of the authors!

You can join our library and get books and DVDs out for Free!

Changing the world one word at a time

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Global Bits - Issue 16 (24 Pages)

Global Education Centre

cover-art-issue-161This Global Bits offers readers a chance to look inside the heads of our future leaders – and to understand the issues and passions that drive them. Open to all 12-18 year olds, 10 young people were picked for this programme for the first time in 2008. In this issue these creative and savvy new authors relate history to global politics. They unravel subjects such as international guidelines for human rights the difference between actual and relative poverty, and just how democracy works.

Watch this space for our new group in 2009!

Download PDF 5.44MB

You can also join our library and get books and DVDs out for Free!

Voices of Youth

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

The UNHCR in partnership with Wellington’s Voice Arts Trust and Access Radio brings you “Voices of Youth” a celebration of identity and diversity.

This programme celebrates International World Refugee Day and was written, produced and performed by a group of Wellington Refugees who, for the first time, are taking their voices, their stories, their struggles, their ideas and their beliefs to the wider community and via the web, to the world.

The programme is a mix of music, poetry, and story telling. Listen, learn and enjoy!

To listen to the podcast click here.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Go to the GREENGORILLA website to check out other episodes and activities

Turn it up day

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Go to the GREENGORILLA website to check out other episodes and activities

A year volunteering in South Africa

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Interview by Tessa Johnstone

felicitygibsonFelicity Gibson, 22, was interested in understanding other countries — not just seeing them through a camera or tour bus window. That’s why she took a year out from her degree to volunteer in South Africa and “gain a new perspective on the world.”

Felicity spent a year volunteering through an initiative organised by New Zealand Aotearoa-based Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) and University of Otago’s Geography Studies faculty. She worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, based in Students Partnership Worldwide’s (SPW) East London, South Africa office and regularly traveling to communities in the Eastern Cape to support volunteers working in the field.

SPW runs youth empowerment programmes in South Africa, primarily with the Xhosa people, in which local and international volunteers are paired up together and provide health education and awareness, training for job and life skills, help to set up clubs and activities for the community, set up resource and library centres, and facilitate peer education.

Felicity’s job was to go into the communities where the youth empowerment programmes were run, and come up with a good system to look at how the programmes were working for the community and the volunteers.

Youth is an extra bonus groupof4

Volunteering gives you a lot of work experience and job skills, which Felicity points out is invaluable for young people. Young people, as well, offer a lot to the organisations and communities they volunteer with.
“I think being young meant I had the right attitude going in to the experience. Many of the older volunteers I talked to were worried about how they were going to handle the different working environment and lack of resources.
“But because I had very little working experience, I had nothing to compare my job to and so was very adaptable to the environment and willing to give things a try.
“This lack of experience also meant that I did not go in their thinking that there was only one right way to do things and did not try and do every thing my own way. I was happy just to go with the flow and learn from others.
“I think volunteers must be open-minded to the fact that people have different sets of knowledge and be prepared to learn and share. It is very important that volunteers remember that they are there to help, not hinder an organisation.”

Daily life is an experience
Felicity feels lucky to have experienced both life in the South African office and that of her fellow international volunteers working in villages.
“I think all of us international volunteers had very rewarding experiences and each faced challenges unique to our situation. Most importantly we had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs together.”
Felicity lived in a small apartment in East London, but experienced the living conditions of volunteers working in smaller communities as well.
“Living in South Africa was certainly not easy. For example, while we lived in town, we could not leave the house after dark as we had no car and it was too dangerous to walk anywhere.
“In the rural communities, volunteers were placed in rondavels [mud huts] with a host family. Rondavels usually had one room where sleeping, eating and cleaning all occurred.”
All SPW volunteers experience very basic living conditions, often with no running water, though most have some electricity. Travel is done by shared minibus or taxi, which Felicity describes entertainingly as “long bumpy trips crammed with people”. There is no fridge, which limits volunteers to a vegetarian diet which includes a lot of local dishes.

Being the “Young White Girl”
spwvolunteersandypOne of the most difficult challenges for Felicity was adjusting to a different culture in South Africa.
“Things looked and felt like home in South Africa, but I was expected to act differently. For example, no one ever worried about running late. This was always frustrating to me when we were holding an event and I expected to arrive early to set up but everyone always arrived after the event was meant to start as they knew that all the people attending would be even later than that.”
Felicity also observed a lot of racism, which she says was very challenging.
“There is still a lot of cultural division in South Africa and I was amazed at the extremely racist comments dropped casually into a conversation by a taxi driver, waiter or my neighbour. While there are racists in New Zealand, most people hide it. In South Africa, people who were racist were very open about it.”
Some South Africans also had skewed perceptions of Felicity, as a “Young White Girl”.
“People’s perception of white people from overseas had often been formed from the movies and so I gained somewhat of a celebrity status. As there were not often young, white girls walking round where I lived or visited I got stared at and whispered about a lot. Some people thought I had a lot of money and could therefore give them my possessions.
“However, in other settings I could feel there was a lot of trepidation about a young, white girl coming into a community with a fear I was going to tell people how to live their lives.”

The biggest learning?
Felicity says the biggest learning for her was “the most obvious”.
“I learnt about how people with little money and resources live and how hard it is for people without opportunities, like I have had, to move forward in their lives.
“Take, for example, computers. You can go to a community and many people have never seen a computer. You may then go to a township where there might be ten old computers for a school of 800 pupils. Then you might find young university students who use computers as part of their school work, however because they have never had the opportunity to use them like we do, their skills are still very low. And then you get the minority at the top that a live life like we do here in New Zealand where using a computer is an everyday occurrence. This range extends to all parts of life, with the minority at the top gaining all the experience and education and more able to take advantage of opportunities than those at the other end of the scale.”

Coming home - with new perspectives and confidence

outsideworkshopFelicity got what she wanted in a travel experience, gaining insight into what South Africa was really like.
“I was very scared of travelling to South Africa because of the horror stories I’d heard. But the country I discovered was very different to those preconceptions. For the most, everyone in South Africa was so friendly and positive. I found it quite a shock to return to New Zealand which I had always thought of as being laidback to find that I now see us as quite a melancholy country. I also learnt about the many different cultures that make up South Africa, especially the Xhosa people.”
Felicity says she came back from South Africa a more mature person.
“Throughout the year I faced so many challenges that I am really quite a different person to the one I used to be. I have a very different perspective on the world and view things in different ways. I definitely am a lot more grateful for the life I live and therefore am more determined to make the most of what I have.”
Eric Levine, founder of SPW and long-time volunteer himself, says the experience also gives you a huge amount of confidence.
“Volunteers always tell me: I came thinking I was going to teach and I learned and took away much more than I taught’,” Eric says.
“They come away with confidence times 10 to a factor of 100 — to work in difficult, under-resourced, complicated situations and be successful in change — no matter what you do in your life, people constantly are like, I am capable, I have skills, I can figure out how to do stuff’.

Felicity is back at Otago completing her Geography degree in Development Studies, though she’s not sure what will happen after that.
“I definitely believe that I was very lucky to be born in New Zealand, and that gives me a sense of social responsibility to help others who were not so lucky, whether they are from developing countries or in New Zealand itself.”
To find out more about Students Partnership Worldwide (SPW), who are working with Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) to place New Zealanders aged 18 — 28 in volunteer placements for six to nine months in Southern Africa, or the VSA/Otago University Univol programme, go to or

The top photo shows Felicity with fellow SPW volunteer Greer Lamaro carrying water up from the stream in the village. All other photos courtesy of SPW volunteer training.


Want to volunteer, but not sure how to go about it ethically? Download VSA’s Volunteering Overseas Guide (1.6MB) or check out the ethical volunteering site for things to think about and tips on how to find a good organisation. And you can download Dev-Zone’s magazine, Just Change Issue 11: Good Intentions - The Ethics of Volunteering.


South Africa country profile
Xhosa entry on wikipedia news from Africa.


    Monday, December 3rd, 2007

    By Pip Bennett

    Four months after I had first submitted my application to become an Oxfam International Youth Partner (OIYP) I was informed that I was one of the 300 youths from around the world that had been chosen from over 3000 applications to join the programme.

    kaleidoscopeOIYP is a three year programme, which aims to build the capacity of the Action Partners (the name given to Youth Partners) by providing us with support and resources, and creating opportunities for dialogue, networking and learning. Our first opportunity came in October this year at Kaleidoscope, a festival where all of the Action Partners come together in Sydney, for nine days of workshops, dances, performances, art, theatre and meeting a zillion new people.

    Arriving in Sydney airport, we made our way to meet the Oxfam volunteers in charge of taking us to the school. We chatted with youth from Iraq and Lebanon about the war and George Bush, which was quite humourous at times because of the jokes they told expressing their feelings about Bush and his administration. Throughout the week, the situation in Iraq was certainly a feature of many discussions with many of the youth asking those from the region for their local perspective, and it seemed that the consensus was that it was detrimental to pull out U.S forces, whether or not they should have gone in the first place.

    We stayed at the oldest school in Australia, the prestigious Kings School, in Parramatta and were divided into various dorm houses. I was one of only three non-Muslim girls to stay in the Muslim side of my house. They tried to keep them separate in order to stop disturbing other non-Muslim participants while they got up early for Ramadan. Staying in this dorm was an excellent experience. Over the week I had many opportunities to discuss various topics, including religion, Islam extremists, and terrorism. The sharing of beliefs and experiences was enlightening, particularly because I have found few opportunities like this back home. There were participants from about 90 countries, from all over the world, Canada, the U.S, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Spain, Chile, and Honduras, just to name a few!

    Darug PeopleThe welcoming ceremony took place on the first night, hosted by the Darug people, the indigenous people of the area. There was Aboriginal song and dance, which was responded to by various groups such as Aotearoa New Zealand, Bangladesh, India, and First Nations of the Americas. It was an incredible start to the event, and was at times very emotional.

    The official opening ceremony was held on the Tuesday night, at the Carriage Works performance venue. It was a show by youth from the Australian Theatre for Young People and some members from Cirque du Soliel which had been inspired by world affairs and our applications for OIYP. Amongst other things, there was singing, acrobatics, and a young woman carefully balancing an spinning umbrella on her feet whilst lying backwards and upside-down on a chair.

    WorkshopDuring the week there were six plenary sessions, along with around fifty workshops, some of which were led by Action Partners. Some of the workshops were only two hours long, while others were four hours over two days. Topics ranged from project management, indigenous rights, land rights, to access to health, access to education, gender and equality, gender and sexuality, and using photography and film. They were helpful, although complaints arose due to their brevity and lack of international or easily transferable context. A complaint from the Latin Americans was that there was too great a focus on Western culture and issues, rather than a diverse representation

    There were a significant number of Spanish speakers from Spain, and Latin America, with many of them unable to speak much, if any, English. A significant proportion of Oxfam volunteers could speak Spanish, and were used during workshops as translators or at the help desk. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about Latin America, however, there were difficulties in meeting and talking with the participants outside of workshops because of the lack of linguistic understanding.

    One of the special things about OIYP was the support of indigenous participants, in particular the availability of an indigenous Australian who acted like a mentor, as well as a space available for Indigenous people to meet and discuss issues, the Indigenous Forum. Being non-indigenous myself, I was invited to attend the Indigenous Forum, which was an unforgettable experience. I heard unnerving stories, particularly from the Americas, where indigenous people are constantly ignored and their identity denied.

    Kaleidescope ArtWe had several opportunities to explore Sydney, predominantly in the evenings, although we did have one free afternoon. Many of us went to a salsa club on Friday night and some gay clubs on the Saturday. Art and dance was a significant part of Kaleidoscope, with Oxfam wanting to explore the power of various forms of art as a tool for development. There were large canvases for painting, dance, song, beat-boxing performances, all with opportunities to try it yourself. A particular highlight for me was watching dancers from Brazil, along with Capoeira performers.

    At the end of the nine days in Sydney, although ready to return home, we were all sad to leave. The opportunity to spend time with other young people with similar dreams and goals proved to us that we are not alone in our desire to see change in the world. The one thing that we keep telling each other is that this is only the beginning of our next three years as Action Partners, and that if we want to see change, we have to do it ourselves.


    For more information on OIYP, check out
    For more information about Oxfam and their work, check out

    All photos from Oxfam International, more here.

    Talk with me: ‘Kifah’ - Struggle

    Monday, November 12th, 2007

    Talk With Me, a national writing competition for secondary school students, is run by the Petone Settlers Museum in association with the Department of Labour and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It was first run in 2006 alongside a major exhibition Walk with Me: the Refugee Experience in New Zealand. Kate Brooks’s winning entry is about her friendship with Kifah.

    ‘Kifah’ - struggle
    By Kate Brooks, 17, Roncalli College, Timaru

    holding hands shadow

    It is ironic that the theme for World Refugee Day 2007 is ‘Voices of Young Refugees’, when in their own countries they are denied a voice and in their adopted countries they cannot find a voice through language barriers. Living here in one of the most peaceful, tranquil countries in the world, it is easy to think that New Zealand is a paradise for these displaced, dispossessed and disoriented young people. But for these young people the reality is so very different.

    All teenagers need friends because when you are young, being part of a culture that is based on laughing, crying, talking and sharing life’s joys and sorrows is vital if you are to become happy, healthy, functioning adults. Sitting here, watching, listening and realising how lonely it is for Kifah makes me realise how difficult it is when you are a virtual outcast in a society that does not understand you.

    Teenage refugees face special problems when being resettled. Because they are traumatised from the horror of actually living through bombs, gunfire, explosions and fire, their hearing is hypersensitive and stillness does not bring the calm and relaxation it does for New Zealand teenagers. When I see Kifah sitting, poised, anxious, waiting for the inevitable blast to go off, she looks like a tightly sprung coil, waiting to uncurl. I know that she needs me. I know that she wants to be part of my culture, but all I can do is smile at her and hold her hand and take her with me. Kifah doesn’t speak English and unlike her sister who is only seven, does not like to make mistakes. Teenagers do not like to stand out in a crowd and although she practises her English every night in the quiet of her bedroom it is hard for her and speaking in front of others is difficult and embarrassing. Kifah and I never really know what each other is thinking and unlike my Kiwi friends, I cannot give Kifah the encouragement and the empathy that she needs. I often watch, helpless, as she struggles to grapple with her new life in a foreign country.

    This year New Zealanders’ celebrated Father’s Day on September the 9th. Kifah, her sister and her mother came to our house and what would normally have been a happy and joyous celebration for my family became a time for reflection. On the day Kifah’s father left home and never returned, her mother packed a few meagre belongings and walked with Kifah and her sister from Iraq to Syria. Listening to the halting English trying to describe the journey, I painted pictures in my head of the dust, the despair and the continual walking. I wondered what your thoughts are when you know you are leaving your culture, your homeland and life as you know it, behind you forever.

    Kifah’s eyes have a depth to them that is fathomless. How much suffering can you ‘get over’ before you give up. I know she is strong. I know she is kind. I know she loves to laugh. But what does it feel like when innocence is ripped away by political ideology, religious fanaticism and military might. For refugees all over the world their lives are a constant battle every minute of every day, trying to cope with new languages, new food, new customs, new religions, new clothes, new climate, new houses and new prejudices.

    Dear God, Dear Allah,

    Give us the courage today and every day
    To stand up for justice and to fight for peace.
    Give us the grace to reach out to others
    So that their struggle is not in vain.
    Give us the wisdom to recognise
    That difference is only skin deep
    Inside, all humans are the same.
    We all laugh, love, cry and worship the same God
    In different ways.
    Please find a place for all the displaced people in this world
    And help the lucky few to recognise that everyone needs “a voice”.

    Check out the other two winners’ pieces: Nosia Fogogo’s Happiness is Ubiquitous and Juliette Varuhas’s Never, Never .