Projects offer hope to Karen youth23-Oct-2012 The Foundation’s work with Karen young people has been documented in an article published in The Age on October 8, 2012.
Along with several other agencies, educators and individuals, the Foundation’s targeted programs and communication with young Karen people of refugee background has helped many who were at risk of dropping out of school or who had “lost their way”.
About 20 Karen youth participated in the Foundation’s ‘Engaging Youth’ program (funded by the nib foundation) to make a series of music videos about “health and harm minimisation” messages.
This follows an 18-month pilot project that included the establishment of the Karen Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) with participation from Karen young men and women who were actively involved in their community, young men who had become disengaged with their community, and representatives from key local services.
Many of the Karen youth involved in the projects were born and raised in refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border.
Foundation House coordinator Susie Strehlow says that Karen students can only study to year 10 in refugee camps. “When people arrive they have many hopes for their education but the reality is that when they get linked to a school they find the work difficult and this creates disappointment. This is such a shame because they have so many strengths.”
Community liaison worker Chit Lu says many Karen youth are unaccompanied minors so can feel very alone. “When they are placed in year 10 they easily drop out and struggle,” he says.
To read the full article written by Denise Ryan for The Age, click here
To access the four music videos (The Pastor, Bad Son, Unaccompanied Child and Get Ready) made by the Engaging Youth project participants, click here