It was a chilly Saturday in Burnaby, but the cold weather did not bother two groups of enthusiastic newcomer youth who got together to share their migration experience and discuss ways to move forward.
On Saturday November 30, 2019, a newcomer youth forum took place at the Edmonds Community Centre with Arabic speaking youth.
MP Peter Julian paid a special visit to meet with the youth and engage them in a conversation covering various topics including housing, employment, immigration, community issues and foreign credential evaluation. In addition, Corporal Albertina Yep from Burnaby RCMP delivered a presentation on crime awareness and prevention.
After the presentation, a small group discussion was facilitated by youth volunteers. Alodie May Yen, from the office of MP Peter Julian, Andrea Lukic, Teen Services Librarian from the Burnaby Public Library, Rayhan Qarqeen from Fast Track to Manufacturing Youth Employment Program and a number of Moving Ahead program staff also joined the forum and shared information about their services for newcomer youth.
At the same time, another group of passionate newcomer youth was hosting a NuYu Popular Theatre Forum at the Stride Avenue Community School. The youth performed scenes that reflect their own experience of struggles: isolation, peer pressure, language and cultural barriers, and communication issues with parents.
For example, one character reached out her hand to another character struggling due to lack of English skills: “I can teach you English and you can teach me Arabic. How about that?”
Through NuYu, newcomer youth reflect on personal life challenges and collectively explore positive changes and paths. The program is open to newcomer youth from 16-24 years old.
RYTE Youth Forum is made possible with the funding from RBC and NuYu program is made possible with the funding from Coast Capital Savings, TELUS, and CLICK Foundation.