Project location: Fredericton, New-Brunswick
Organizing team Members: Noussaiba Dehimi, Ramesh Sharma, Raghad Agha, Waad Tamer, Hassina Abulgeir
Supported by: The Multicultural Association of Fredericton in parnership with the Multicultural Association of Greater Moncton Area
Canada is vast, and often distances challenge the mobilization of our networks. For Fredericton and Moncton youth it was necessary to overcome distances in order to tackle common challenges faced by newcomer youth. With the support of organization in each city, the youth has been able to develop a project to identify what were the most prevalent issues experienced by Fredericton newcomer youth participants.
Fredericton Newcomer youth on education and public awareness-raising
On January 7th the youth gathered and discussed how they felt about school, about their lives in Canada, about their place in Fredericton, and about what has puzzled them the most as they navigate their own identities. During the discussion, they pinpointed several points they wanted to focus on.
Together they targeted two main topics to address:
- Lack of awareness of newcomer cultures, which leads to 1. racism/stereotypes and 2. lack of adapted services (e.g. mental health)
- Access to post-secondary education
In February, the youth organizing team and participants met again in order to organize a meeting with the boards of education and settlement workers to advocate for the issues they have identified.
First, they suggested making a multicultural club within the schools that would introduce Canadian citizens to a variety of cultures. For the second part, the youth group proposed to set up a "buddy system" where cultural knowledge exchange would take place between newcomers and Canadian citizens. The group is now in the process of meeting with the school district.
Once the idea is approved, they plan to create a "Fredericton Friend Society" in schools and appoint a champion teacher to be in charge of managing it. The Multicultural Association of Fredericton would then offer to the participant schools a cultural competency training. The goal of this is for one newcomer to partner up with a Canadian citizen, while performing all kind of activities together to learn from each other’s cultures. They will have schedules in which they can go skiing together, play board games or hiking to have fun and allow the knowledge exchange to take place!
At the end of this project, the team plan to bring both Saint-John and Moncton youth together for a 'Youth-Share' gathering, which will happen in Fredericton. This will allow New-Brunswick youth to keep the network active, to share with those who were not able to take part in the project initially and plan a major way forward for the future of youth in general in New-Brunswick. The ultimate goal is to make New-Brunswick's newcomer youth be a voice that will help create change in their province!
Saa Andrew Gbongbor
Newcomer Youth Arts Programs Developer
Multicultural Association of Fredricton Inc.
28 Rue Saunders
Fredericton, Nouveau Brunswick, E3B 191
Telephone : 506-471-4120