Looking back to 2012, I was a teenager in a foreign land far away from the comforts of my motherland. I was about to start university as an international student when my sister and I came across a Mixit article on the Western Leader. Since then, Mixit has been a part of my life. I have been a regular mixer (our catchy name for the participants), a youth leader and currently part of the alumni squad and as well as a trustee on the board.
Mixit is a project that uses creativity to empower young people from former refugee backgrounds, mix it up with migrant and local youth. Youth get involved in creative projects and establish new networks and opportunities in meeting new friends, artists and others who may be able to help them with the transition from school into study, training and life.
Over the years, being a part of Mixit has helped with my confidence and to interact with others. I have gained a beautiful bunch of friends that I can call my family from different cultures and backgrounds. Life skills like commitment, reliability, organisation and time management that I was able to practise through Mixit has helped me stay focused during university and now in my career. Mixits’ support and belief have given me strength and the courage to face the criticisms of being who I am and doing what makes me happy in life; especially, when changing my career from a lab analyst to now a primary teacher.
Mixit runs creative workshops every Saturday of the school term from 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm at the Corbans Estate Art Centre in Henderson. Mixers are able to come from all over Auckland to be part of the workshops especially as they can have free transport. Mixit is supported by a network of donors and sponsors to help our youth, participate at no cost. If it wasn’t for the sponsors, Mixit would not be able to continue their work.
Recently, Mixit completed research looking at the impact of the pandemic, social inequalities and racism in New Zealand. This research identified the changing needs of young people from refugee and migrant environments. At the times of the global pandemic, the importance of mentoring and creating connections for young people and young adults have become even more relevant. Mixit strives to create a more inclusive society through implementing Outreach Programmes aimed at strong collaborations and improved communication nationwide.
This means Mixit IS COMING TO YOU! Young people in Hamilton, Christchurch and Wellington are going to get a chance to experience Mixit and have a positive impact on their ever-changing lives. So keep your eyes, ears and whole-body ready!