Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Creating New Futures

In Peterborough there was rising tension between the host community and newly settled refugees and asylum seekers. We were brought in to work with young people from both communities to build communication and understanding.

On the focUS project the two groups worked separately at first, with each group producing films about their experiences in the city. These films acted as the first point of contact between them, providing an insight into each other’s lives. Watching the films allowed sensitive questions and controversial views to be aired and discussed in a safe environment before the groups met.

The film they went on to make as a single group ‘premiered’, alongside their other films, at the Town Hall allowing friends, family and what we call ‘stake holders’ (those working in the community - youth service, social services, housing, health, refugee organisations, local education) to attend. As a result we’ve had requests for the films to be shown in other settings: schools; youth groups and even open-air screenings in public spaces.

‘You learn, and at the same time contribute to others. They’re learning from you and you’re learning from them. We’re all helpful to each other. It’s like a body – all the parts of a body are very important so if one of it is affected, the whole body is affected.’ Faith, 17 years old

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