A three-month pilot project was concluded on March 26 with a festival showcasing Syrian children acting out traditional stories, singing, and dancing at the Massey Theatre. MOSAIC, operating the Settlement Workers in School program in the New Westminster district, partnered with the school district and the theatre to stage Witness the Children: Community Festival of Syrian Arts. The joint project is seen to help bridge cultures as well as allowing the refugee kids to express themselves through art form.
Ghada Shawil, MOSAIC’s co-ordinator for the district’s Settlement Workers in the Schools (SWIS) program, said “refugee parents and children have a lot of talent, but because of the language barrier, they are shy or hide their potential. This program has been a chance to empower newcomers to Canada to have a voice, to overcome fear and to find self-confidence. It is really making a difference. We are noticing that the families have been doing so much better.”
For more information, click here for an article on the website for New Westminster’s school district.
The Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) program helps newcomer students and their families adapt and integrate to Canadian life and education during their initial years in Canada. To learn more, please visit mosaicbc.org/swis.