A woman’s fight against racism since fleeing South Sudan

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I have two brothers here and a sister,” Ms Manasseh said.”My other brother and sister are back home in Africa and I never see them.”Ms Manasseh arrived in Hobart in 2005, but at times her heart is still in South Sudan.”I’m having a good life here, I’m safe. External Link:

Tweet of photo of Living In Between workshop
The idea was born after Ms Manasseh’s English-as-a-second-language teacher, Gini Ennals, encouraged her to write down her story and give a presentation to classmates about her experiences.”When I start off I’m talking about my homeland and starting to remember the bad things that have happened, or I’ve seen, or gone through,” she said of her presentation.”Then as I move on to the different stages of my story I feel the relief coming into my heart.”Ms Manasseh has told her story over and over again in the past nine years, sharing it with students in primary schools through to universities.She has also helped other refugee students to share their stories.The SAR program has now expanded across Tasmania and Ms Manasseh has also travelled to Melbourne and Sydney to encourage schools there to start their own groups.”It’s not easy, but because of the change that we have seen from this workshop, [we] just want to keep going.”When she is not trying to tackle racism, Ms Manasseh works at the Hobart Women’s Shelter helping women escape domestic violence.”I just want to work with people in the community and help people with high and complex needs,” she said.”That’s my dream — just to work and help people.” Nene Manasseh knows what it feels like to not quite belong anywhere.She grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya after her family had to escape the violence in their homeland of South Sudan.”I’m one of six kids. I had the opportunity to go to school and I’m working.”[But] it’s not easy thinking about [my relatives still there]. Even just two months ago I lost a cousin.”Ms Manasseh’s experience of still feeling the pain of her war-torn homeland is one shared by other refugees locally.They have also had shared experiences racism and bullying since arriving in Hobart.To help build a sense of community and connection, Ms Manasseh started a group called Students Against Racism (SAR) while studying at Hobart College nine years ago.
ABC Radio Hobart

By

Carol Rääbus

Posted

March 22, 2017 12:06:35

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Nene Manasseh came from Africa to Hobart more than a decade ago. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)

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Refugee fashion breaks down barriers