The Children and Youth Program is a multi-faceted program that involves activities such as choir practice, languages tuition, drama, band practice, soccer and traditional dancing. Parents of the program’s members often meet each other and chat.
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., kids and young people between 5 to 14 years of age can participate in a Creative Arts and Culture Program.
What is the program?
- Children and youth meet on Mondays for creative dance; Wednesdays for choir practice and languages tuition; Thursdays for drama and band practice.
- Choir rehearses songs in different languages and songs that are Christian and non-Christian in English.
- Young folks perform traditional South Sudanese dances.
- The youth practise piano, guitar and keyboards, and play in a 15 member band.
- The group learn different languages and various cultural stories to converse at home in their mother tongue and to become adept storytellers.
The children and young people develop discipline through creative practice, and gain confidence from performing. The children have performed at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre for the STARTTS-driven Dancing in Harmony 2 concert and at Blacktown Olympic Park for the Republic of South Sudan Independence Day Celebration. As part of the band, young people become musically proficient, and build on their communication skills. Through theatre, the young people also acquire skills in improvisation.
The program emphasises the practice of culture which develops the children’s identities. In particular, they grow from understanding the meaning of various songs and dance. Young people also build relationships through learning about each other’s Equatorian tribes and from working together. Moreover through becoming multilingual, the youth are able to further culturally connect with their families, and are able to navigate and make connections between their own culture and Australian culture.