Heni

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4,581 kmfrom home
#iamamigrant
"The men and women in my class inspired me. I knew how hard their journey was, I had lived through it myself."
Heni
Current Country: 
Australia
Country of Origin: 
Indonesia

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"I am a very passionate Aerobics and Zumba instructor. I worked as a marketing manager and aerobics instructor for over 20 years in my home city Bali, Indonesia. I love the vibe of the city – it's alive 24/7. I miss the food, my friends and of course my family.

When I first came to Australia I settled in a very small and quiet place. I didn’t know anyone in town! I was feeling lonely, but I had my son around that same time and he also made me feel brave, along with my faith. One day I decided to be strong and use my talents to connect with people. I started a Zumba class and I was surprised at how many people attended without even knowing me. I realised I could connect with people through Zumba. So I put my name on a website and updated my social media accounts to promote my work.

A few months later I was contacted by a gym in Goulburn - a town close to where I was living - and they offered me a job! I was surprised that the word had spread out about my work. So I took the job and travelled to work a few days a week. Soon, I met some people from the Goulburn Multicultural Centre and I offered to volunteer and teach a Zumba class. The stories of the men and women that came along to the class inspired me and I wanted to do as much as I could to be of help. I knew how hard the journey was, I had lived through it myself.

Soon after, I decided to move to Goulburn to be closer to work and the multicultural centre. I got so involved in the multicultural centre that I ended up taking a full time position and left my job at the gym. I also studied for a Certificate in Community Services.

I still lead a Zumba class at the Multicultural Centre but I’m also focused on other projects such as the women's support group, sowing classes, computer classes, driving lessons, support with homework for those studying and support for people seeking jobs. I now run the centre along with 22 volunteers and with their support, over 100 people of all ages and backgrounds have connected with the centre.

The Zumba class is a popular activity at the multicultural centre. Zumba makes people feel healthy and confident, and it brings everyone together. We don’t only invite migrants, but locals too. It helps migrants feel welcome and it helps the locals to understand migrants and their background. When we are in a Zumba class people feel happy, no one feels different because we are all just exercising through dance. We realise that we’re are all the same."

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s):

 

https://together.un.org            http://usaim.org/            https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org