In the two years and a half that she has spent in New Zealand, Amani Younis has faced over and over again the same barrier that many new immigrants encounter when they are looking for their first full-time position here: her application has systematically been overlooked in favor of local candidates. “No one gave me a chance. I did not get one interview”, the disheartened journalist and TV producer from Jordan points out, although she did share many coffees with potential recruiters to network and discuss her situation.
Very early on, she knocked on the door of Volunteer Wellington who directed her to Inspirational TV, a Christian-based organization producing thought-provoking and spirituality-related videos. She shot two episodes for their “Recipes for Life” series. Those two five-minute encounters with individuals who cook a dish which for them embodies some crucial life lesson or symbolizes their life trajectory are little
Eventually, she did find some part-time job in a Berhampore after school childcare centre, helping out with kids and doing the dishes, but nothing close to fulfilling her vocation as a storyteller. That’s when she decided to take things into her own hands and create her own opportunities. “I’m not waiting for things to happen any more”, she simply says. She developed her director’s idea of celebrating youth’s
accomplishments with an award ceremony… The second Pride Awards show, for which she is the executive assistant, will be hosted at St James Theatre in December!
Thanks to her Inspirational TV gig, she was contacted by Agape, a budgeting service which had been trying for several years to release a promotional video. Brimming with ideas, Amani wrote them a straightforward yet spirited script and delivered the material for a minimal fee. “They were so thrilled with the DVD that they came into our office with muffins as if we had done the video ourselves!”, exclaims Pauline Harper from Volunteer Wellington.
After this experience, it dawned on Amani that she could “do wonders for other organizations” too. She is launching her own production company and is now looking to spread the word…