MOSAIC’s FreeRunning youth leaders team, consisting of youth clients from diverse cultural backgrounds, has successfully held the first Youth Consultation on March 2nd at MOSAIC headquarters in Vancouver.
In January 2019, MOSAIC was selected to be the lead in establishing a local branch for the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) National Youth Network.
At the full-day conference, 20 youth participants shared the experiences of their unique journeys in coming to Canada as refugees or as sponsored immigrants.
“On the first day that I arrived, I had mixed feelings of excitement, happiness and fear” said one of the youth participants.
The conversation continued with interactive discussion and sharing. Participants also identified key issues and challenges faced by newcomer youth based on their own experiences and shared their ideas to address the gaps.
“I fluently speak English and have skills but I am asked for ‘Canadian Experience’ wherever I go [to get employment]”.
“I had to wait for 5.5 month for my work permit after being granted the refugee status. If this process can be expedited, I could have started working [and contributing] sooner”
Under the leadership of MOSAIC’s FreeRunning program, the B.C. Branch of CCR’s National Youth Network will continue its commitment and facilitate youth engagement at the local and national level, said Mssko Wakil, Youth Worker in FreeRunning Program. “We are really proud of the success achieved by our youth.”