Celebrating Student Voice: Raising the Profile of Refugee Experiences

"At first I did not want to be involved because I was scared. Scared to talk in front of people. Scared of how people would react to my story. I am not scared any more, people listened, even cried, and some thanked me for having the courage to share."

This project was led by a group of youth and allies from MCRS (Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support) and Waterloo Collegiate Institute.

The Story of "Celebrating Student Voice":

This project started when a group of youth came together to create a play called "Deportation Nation." This play was an outlet for the youth who were coping with a fellow student and friend being deported because her family's refugee claim was refused. 

The group then built upon Deportation Nation and created a larger presentation which speaks about the experiences of refugee students in schools and in the community. They presented the show at multiples schools and community events, reaching over 600 people. Audience members included youth, teachers, parents, NGO directors, and district school board representatives.

They have created a "How-to" guide for youth and organizations who want to start a similar project in their own communties - it will be available on this page soon! The guide will also be distributed to high schools in their region, to support them in running their own awareness projects on equity and inclusion.

Contact: Kaylee Perez - cap.mcrs@gmail.com

MCRS Youth:

Website: http://www.mcrs.ca/programs/youth

The MCRS Youth is a program designed to provide opportunities for refugee claimant youth to integrate and find a supportive peer group within the community. It provides a place where refugee claimant youth can feel comfortable and provides them a chance to volunteer in the community.