Jasmine Glentworth is a student at Palmerston North Girls' High School who meets up with young people from Palmerston North's former refugee community at Te Aroha Noa community centre.

"I saw the need to foster the community and connecting young Kiwi groups with Kiwi new refugees to New Zealand," she said.

The weekly afternoons are part of community effort to help new arrivals to Palmerston North feel welcome and get used to their new home. And while employment and housing get the most attention, the needs of the children are also considered.

"New Kiwis' club happens every Monday. We come here from 3.30pm to 5pm. And we offer activities that the kids otherwise may not experience," Jasmine said.

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"We do things like music tutoring, music lessons, like guitar and ukulele. We do arts, like painting and watercolour, and fun sports.

"When we first started this the kids sometimes wouldn't even participate, especially the girls. They would leave the sports to the boys and they would be inside painting. Now the girls are actually starting to participate more. And actually have a little bit of competition. And the boys are getting into painting and creative things as well."

Being welcoming includes sharing Kiwi culture with the kids as well as helping them feel more comfortable to be themselves in their new country.

"The dream really is to break down the barriers between cultures," Jasmine said.

"Something that's really special is seeing all the people from different countries coming together, all the kids, and sharing their culture, and building off each other."

Video footage supplied by PNCC

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