We kicked off this summer with many activities planned for immigrant youths. We organized field trips to UBC Museum of Anthropology and Musqueam Cultural Centre, workshops on self-discovery and dating, making dream catchers, as well as learning how different musical instruments were played. The activities were well received with eight youths participating in each event. A good size for sharing and fostering deeper friendships.
The youth discovered and learned more about themselves by reflecting on and sharing their culture and learning more about the Aboriginal and Canadian cultures. They met other youths and adults from First Nations, Nepal, the Philippines, Rwanda, Korea, Hong Kong and China. Through the activities, they heard firsthand stories about residential schools from a Squamish grandmother, made friends with Aboriginal staff and youth of UNYA (Urban Native Youth Association). They also watched a documentary about a group of Aboriginal youths learning hip hop dance, discussed the past hurts and ways to build up confidence. They created their own dream catchers with assistance the Squamish, Cree and Coast Salish staff from UNYA.
The youth appreciated being outdoors and socializing, enjoying the sunshine and BBQ at Spanish Banks. They also learned how to sing O Canada and tried the different musical instruments such as the ukulele, guitar, keyboard and the oud at one of the activities.
This could be the start of a regular youth summer program and also a monthly MOSAIC Pro-D School Youth Day-Off where there will be continuous support and resources for out-of-school learning of essential life skills. For youths to be happy, caring, self-understanding and established newcomers, MOSAIC organizes skills building, environment-friendly and strength-focused programs.