Memphis' Project for Peace
International House resident Memphis Bourne Blue will return home to Newcastle during the mid-semester break to embark on a project to educate local students about the experience of new refugees in Australia.
The project, A Different View, will involve a series of talks to school students by individuals who have sought asylum in Australia.
“Through A Different View, students will have personal contact with someone who has experienced the hardship of seeking asylum in Australia, something which is so often stereotyped and misunderstood,” said Ms Bourne Blue.
“The talks will be led by refugees from diverse backgrounds and will aim to increase the awareness of this audience regarding what it is to be a refugee and what it means to have fled one’s country.”
Ms Bourne Blue, a Dual Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Sydney, said it was her experience at the 2013 Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle which sparked the idea for her project.
“At the Special Olympics, I met a group of volunteers originating from Afghanistan who later became close friends of mine. I was inspired and touched by their stories, as I had previously been completely unaware of the situation in their country. What really impacted on me was the fact that these boys were my age or younger, and had undertaken such a tremendous journey.”
A Different View is funded by a $10,000 International House Davis Project for Peace Grant. The grant has given International House residents the opportunity to implement grassroots projects in Lebanon, India, Kenya and South Sudan.
“Following on from the Davis Project for Peace Grant, my aim is to partner with like-minded organisations and apply for funding from the government in order to continuing educating others and dispelling misconceptions.”
Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative for students at partner schools of the Davis United World College Scholars Program, together with International Houses worldwide. Students are awarded USD$10,000 each to design and implement their own grassroots peace projects anywhere in the world during the Northern Hemisphere summer.