Mixit uses creativity to support young people from former refugee backgrounds to help increase life skills, become stronger human beings, move forward and build their capacities to successfully integrate into our communities.
Why do you exist?
Because the world is an increasingly troubled place with millions of people displaced and desperate, fleeing environments of fear, suspicion of ‘others’ and outrageous inhumane acts that are becoming the new normal. NZ has an annual quota for accepting refugees, so we do our small bit to help as a nation. However that’s only the beginning and we need to get better at making integration of new arrivals into our communities positive and successful.
It’s hard being in an unfamiliar cultural place, perhaps with a family backdrop of trauma, no English and being viewed as a threat. Young people get caught in the cracks and all they want to do is simply fit in. But often without cultural understanding or support around them as they grapple with peer pressure, family expectations and conflicting values. It’s not an easy fit as they try to navigate into this new world that we call home. At Mixit we’re here to help with that.
What do you do?
Mixit uses the power of creativity, to increase core life skills, build self-esteem and confidence, improve communication skills and provide a place for positive socialisation – with a healthy combination of former refugee, migrant and local young people mixing it up together. Not to share sad stories of the past but to support young people to stand strong, to know they have a right for their voices to be heard and to feel like they belong. We use the art forms of dance, drama, music, spoken word poetry and more. Creativity involves teamwork, problem solving, having fun and helps break down barriers that divide. Transport is provided and along with the activities there’s always food, talk and unconditional, non-judgmental support.
We started providing free weekly creative workshops in 2006, engaging the countries leading artists and have been doing so ever since. Additionally we run an annual summer performance project. There’s a youth leadership programme because youth leading youth is undeniably powerful. Youth leaders are mentored to be part of workshop planning and logistics, co-facilitate the sessions and learn what commitment and responsibilities to support others actually means.
There’s a growing team of Alumni who continue to be part of all our programmes – working alongside guest artists, our project management and as trustees on the Mixit Board.
Wrapped around everything is mentoring and pastoral support for all levels of Mixers (participants) with school, tertiary options, employment choices, personal and family issues and their capacity to move forward and become strong new NZers.
Mixit is contributing to building a healthy, integrated society that better understands what living in a diverse, multi-ethnic and multi-faith community really takes.
How can we help?
Your financial support will help Mixit maintain a steady and stable free core programme so we can continue to positively impact many more young people. Every Saturday workshop costs $500 for guest artists, studio hire, resources, transport and food – which your donation could go towards.
You may be interested in financially supporting the behind the scenes infrastructure that works hard to make everything we do professional, well managed, inspirational and the highest it caliber it can be.
You could support our Alumni by becoming a business or career mentor, or open your networks to help find a tangible way for them grow into future contributors and leaders.
You could encourage others to shift their gaze to Mixit and consider ways they too can get involved and be part of building stronger and more diverse communities.
Were always looking for new volunteers to help Mixit in action when there’s a need for extra drivers, sandwich makers, costume stylists or simply helping assist opportunities for ongoing training towards future employment.
You could embrace being part of making diverse communities a positive place and be part of the support at the top of the cliff, rather than driving the ambulance to pick up the pieces at the bottom.
What are your current goals?
To remain steady and consistent – continuing to provide our weekly free programmes no matter what obstacles get in the way.
To provide increased support for our youth leaders and encourage ongoing opportunities for them to develop capacity and gain further skills.
To strategically support our expanding alumni with professional development and hands on training so they can be part of taking Mixit to other centres in NZ.
To develop new International partnerships with similar projects supporting young people globally.
Want to support Mixit?
You can support them with 1% of your income through One Percent Collective.