The Syrian Youth Refugee Consultation was held September 17 in partnership with the Fresh Voices Initiative of Vancouver Foundation and Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC).
Close to 60 Arabic speaking Syrian youth got together over the weekend to share their experiences of settling in Canada and make recommendations on settlement needs in BC.
The one-day consultation provided a space in Arabic for youth who have recently come as refugees to connect with each other and strengthen their network of support.
“This was the first time in ISSofBC history that we brought together former refugee youth within their first year to Canada and asked them how their settlement experience has been going to date as well as gained their input into some newcomer youth related policy and program needs,” – ISSofBC Director of Settlement Services Chris Friesen.
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26.5% of British Columbians’ “mother tongue” is a non-official language, followed by Ontario (25.7%), Alberta (19.4%), and Quebec (12.3%). British Columbia has the highest percentage of language diversity of any Canadian province.