My name is Fostin Nshimirimana, I am currently studying my second year of Youth Work at Victoria University, Footscray Park. Growing up in the western suburbs I learnt and picked up the love of the youth work field as I took the initiative to get involved with different programs in the community. After volunteering for about 2 years I got a part time job in Brimbank City Council and became a young leader not just for young Africans but for the community itself and ended up winning the Brim bank Young Citizen of the Year 2013. As part of my studies I am required to complete 250 hours of work placement and I applied to cohealth arts generator in Footscray.
I started my work placement at the beginning of this year 2014 and have met a lot of different people from different organisations, different young people with different paths, and have learnt so much and most importantly created a family within my work placement time. I learnt different strategies on how to view our uprising community and got a blessing to work with the amazing Liss Gabb and Mary Quinsacara. During my work placement I get a chance to also work alongside Massive Hip Hop Choir running programs/ workshops either in schools or public. Like I said I have learnt so much and had so much fun that even when I am learning it doesn’t click in till I get home because of the fun that I am having at work placement. My personal workshop/program that I am more attached to is: those workshops at prison. I meet so many nice, kind, talented and educated people behind bars, sharing their talents and stories through music and I am amazed and blessed to be part of it. Still more to see and learn as I go on my placement but so far I am so happy and keen to discover more.
Coming back from the prison workshops, I wrote a little piece of a poem that I also would love to share. It is a work in progress called Just because you locked up, it don’t mean you aint free
She used to say ‘just because you locked up, it don’t mean you aint free’
As her blood flows into her veins and her eyes close, she began to see
Her eyes analyse the victim that it is being victimized
As she looks into her sons’ eyes she realise s that he is minimized
As she holds her babe boy she says, ‘dear son – walk above gravity
Believe beyond blue sky, bless and do not curse, love with you heart and soul
I pass on my legacy to you, and be proud of who you are
You’re beautiful and your skin tone compliments your eyes’
I am locked up based on my personal choices, be wise
Learn your right and wrongs, and may your smile help the morning sun to rise
This blue uniform I am wearing, it defines my bad choices not my destiny or fate
My tears analyse the pain but my smile passes on my beauty into you