By Julian Wright

SARA Shengeb was forced to flee her home in Eritrea and live as a refugee for three years before resettling in Australia.

She was able to use her experiences to help guide a group of 17 youths with refugee and migrant backgrounds who took part in the Shout Out program run in Leederville.

The program, run throughout two months, provided a platform for the youths to improve their public speaking and media skills with workshops on speech writing and media interviews so they could share their perspective on issues that are important to them.

Ms Shengeb, who co-organised the program, said she knew how important it was for them to be able to tell their stories.

“This program was about giving young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds a voice,” she said.

“We want them to have the confidence to stand up and speak out about the issues that are important to them.

“There are many social issues affecting young people in this group and at the moment many of them are not having their perspectives heard by the wider community.”

The program was organised by the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYANWA), which is run out of the Youth Affairs Council of WA office.

Participants completed the program on June 12, and each person delivered a speech about their experiences as a multicultural youth in Australia.

The final step in the program was the development of a website featuring the young people’s photos and bios, which went live on July 1.