Newcomer Stories

Our course is ideally suited to refugee and migrants, providing you with the opportunity to write your history and experiences in a safe and supportive environment. We will explore different ways of writing and recording your journey prior to living in New Zealand. You will receive a copy of the collected stories as a book which is also distributed to community organisations. 

Read more about our Newcomers Stories course.  

The following are some of our recent student stories.

Aita Biswa

I was born in Bhutan and grew up in a Christian family. I was uncertain about my future  because getting an education at that time was very difficult. The schools were far away from my village and people had to walk at least five hours to attend class. My parents didn’t send me to school. 

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Bishnu Pokhrel

The first thing I remember is my mother carrying me on her back on the top of a sack of rice, while we were moving to another village. In my family there were seven people, my father, mother and five siblings. I was the fourth. I was closest to my older brother who was only 18 months older than me. Our life was difficult. We had to walk an hour and half to go to school. Not only this, we had to help our mother with household and farm work - my father was working in a neighbouring country.

My refugee story starts when I was 25 and was arrested by the police for political reasons and put in prison.

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Girdhari Kadariyah

The first thing I can remember is the day my mother, sister and me dragged the motionless body of my brother across the Bhutan/India border. The memory is still painful. In my family there are five people, my mother, father, sister, brother and me. I was closest to my sister who was only 27 months older than me. Our life was difficult. We had to walk for two hours to go to school and besides this we had to help our mother with household work and farm work.

My refugee story starts when I was 12 years old and our family was forcefully expelled from our native land, Bhutan.

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Tula Chhetri

On 14th March 2008, we were the first Bhutanese refugees to enter the Mangere Refugee Centre in Auckland.

After spending 17 terrible years in the refugee camp, I felt very relaxed coming to New Zealand. However, the reality is that there are a number of challenges that face refugees when they enter a new country like New Zealand, for instance, education, health and cultural integration.

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