Seaton School’s ‘Leaving Home’ project got off to a great start with a visit from 11-year old Rama Awad from the Syrian city of Homs and a performance of ‘Just Want Home’ by Naia Alkhouri and Megan Prentice.
This senior syndicate project will explore the Syrian refugee crisis through a variety of creative mediums and culminate in a fundraising event for Make Foundation’s projects.
Make Foundation’s Michel Alkhouri gave some background to the crisis and spoke to the students about the project’s aims and Make Foundation’s work before introducing Rama.
Rama came to New Zealand with her parents, older brother and sister earlier this year after living in Cairo, Egypt for nearly three years as refugees.
Rama told the students about her family’s long journey to a safe haven. First fleeing Homs for Damascus, then Raqqa and Deir Atiyah and eventually onto Egypt as violence followed their movements within Syria.
Rama said she was very happy living in Wellington, studying at Te Aro Primary School and meeting new friends, but still missed Syria and her home in Homs.
This week students will be looking more closely at Rama’s story and responding to it through the arts. Make Foundation wishes Seaton School all the best in their creative journey and we are so thankful for your commitment to undertake this learning.
Leaving Home Fundraising Event
Seatoun School’s ‘Leaving Home’ fundraising event was a poignant end to a 5-week programme of learning about the Syrian refugee crisis.
Using art, poetry, music, dance and film, senior syndicate students showcased the treacherous journeys many Syrians face in their search for safety.
The evening event even featured Syrian dishes cooked by the students with the help of volunteers Jihan Swedan, Nahreen Awas, Valentina Dias and Susan McCauley.
Many of the creative works echoed the story of Rama Awad, an 11-year old Syrian girl who shared her personal journey with the students at the project’s start.
Rama retold her moving story with the wider community at the event – no small feat for the Te Aro Primary School student who has been learning English for less than a year.
One artwork literally retraced Rama’s steps from the Syrian city of Homs, through other parts of the country before she and her family fled to Egypt and their final refuge – New Zealand.
Other works reflected on the dangerous Mediterranean Sea crossing that many Syrian refugees attempt.
Water everywhere. We will be paddling till we die.
Refugee. Tired, scared, running, fleeing, escape. Always trying to escape. Help.
Just like other Make Foundation projects – ‘Just Want Home’, St Francis de Sales School; ‘What Is Home’, Island Bay School and our current project ‘Hear My Voice’, Wellington East Girls College – Seatoun School’s ‘Leaving Home’ project owed its success to the support and commitment of the school community, staff, students, parents and volunteers.
Thank you Seatoun for your generosity and support to Make Foundation’s project for Syrian children in Lebanon. We’ll start planning for this in the New Year once ‘Hear My Voice’, our final project in Wellington for the year, is completed
Special thanks to the amazing Leaving Home volunteer team:
Ruth Prentice: project facilitator
Andreas Lepper : drums
Ella Burge : dance
Valentina Dias : cooking
Nahreen Awas: cooking
Jihan Swedan: cooking
Susan McCauley : cooking
Karen Millar: cooking
Claire Mortelier : art
Jessica Hallett : art
Birgit Krippner : photography
Lara Gilks : photography
Rama Awad: story teller
Megan Prentice: music
Naia Alkhouri: music