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Photo of Manahil, a 21-year-old person (she/her) with long black hair. Manahil is smiling at the camera wearing a silver circle pendant, brown t-shirt with a blue photograph of a basketball net in the background.

Name: Manahil
Age: 19
Location: Casey
Pronouns: She/Her

A program where people come along and they cook with each other and they connect, I think that would be awesome.

As a refugee who has lived in 8 countries, 19-year-old Manahil sees how different cultures approach the idea of health, and just how much the world around you can affect this.

“I never lived in 1 house more than 3 years: I’ve always been moving,” she explains

“And for someone like me, or someone with similar experiences, it’s really hard to think about being healthy and give importance to your health, because the surrounding environment affects it a lot.”

For Manahil, a healthy future looks like “everyone just being supportive of one another and having spaces where everyone is included, no matter their age, culture, religion or race.”

Moving between 8 countries, she has seen different levels of understanding and education about what ‘health’ looks like.

Manahil says many parents from different cultures struggle to provide healthy food to their kids due to lack of education or lack of access to good food.

She says, “me and my siblings, we tend to build on that habit of unhealthy food and become careless about it. It’s really hard to move from one thing to another.” 

Manahil would love to see more opportunities for people to learn about being healthy, such as preparing different types of food. “A program where people come along and they cook with each other and they connect, I think that would be awesome,” she says.

“Most people are visual learners and sometimes they don't really connect through social media, or they don't really learn well through videos. If they see it face-to-face and they see people face-to-face and how they do it, I feel like they would have more, like, connection towards that.”