What does it mean to be a “welcoming community” for refugees? How do we welcome and support newcomers in meaningful and helpful ways? What is it like for a young newcomer trying to fit in and succeed here in the Hammer? Those questions were top of mind when the Journeys of Change theatre project was first envisioned. Karen Smith, from Thrive Child and Youth Trauma Services, says “we wanted to give voice to the stories of young newcomers, and spark conversations that would help our community to better understand them. In our work with these young people, we see the amazing resilience they bring to their new lives here in Hamilton”. Some refugees and immigrants, who have experienced trauma, will need mental health supports like those offered at Thrive Child and Youth Trauma Services. Through the theatre project, Thrive has engaged high school students to showcase the experiences of young newcomers so that Hamiltonians can experience their inspiring and compelling stories. On May 10, the project will culminate in the public premiere of “Better”, a theatrical experience that will provoke, inspire, and compel audience members by sharing those newcomer stories in a powerful way. We’ll be featuring a sneak peek at some of those stories leading up to May 10. To experience “Better” on stage visit the Theatre Aquarius box office. All proceeds support Thrive Child and Youth Trauma Services.
Follow this series over the next week as we introduce you to the stories that make up the “Better” experience.