Emmanuel Jal inspires young people to envision their purpose

As part of Victorian Youth Fest 2022, our ENVISION team held a morning of storytelling, spoken word, poetry and music that uplifted young people and inspired them to develop self-confidence and find purpose in a new community.

Eighty-five newly-arrived young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds from across Melbourne’s West were in attendance at Victoria University in Footscray.

The event featured CMY Shout Out Speaker and local artist, Titan D who was the MC, and special guest from South Sudan, Emmanuel Jal, a spoken word poet and musician, who was a former child soldier. He captivated the room with his contagious energy, and his performance titled ‘We Want Peace’ brought the entire room full of young people to their feet to join in and dance.

Titan D and Emmanuel Jal

“When you walk in your purpose with clear, defined goals and a burning desire to act, success will follow you like a shadow,” Emmanuel said about how he transformed his life by finding his purpose and programming his mind for success.

He also explored themes such as multiculturalism, leadership, settlement journey and participation, and said they were integral to creating a society in which multicultural young people are empowered to reach their full potential. 

Emmanuel’s story was a motivating demonstration of overcoming adversity to become fully engaged in active citizenship. His engaging insights resonated deeply with the audience, many of who have walked a similar path.

“A big lesson from Emmanuel Jal, (who) is a famous singer, he left the best message for us and his story had a big effect on me,” a participant said.

In 2008 a full-length documentary on Jal’s life, War Child, was released and won prestigious awards worldwide. Jal has also released six award nominated studio albums and has performed alongside artists such as Lauryn Hill, Xavier Rudd, Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado, Ed Sheeran and Alicia Keys.

This event was part of Victorian Youth Fest 2022, funded by the Victorian Government Office for Youth.

Find out more about CMY’s ENVISION program.