Community voices

Asad Makhani: Refugees advise new refugees (Tipsheet in English and Arabic)

In the fall of 2015 Asad Makhani, a student at the University of Alberta working on cultural issues in medicine under the supervision of Professor and Kule Chair Natalie Kononenko, began interviewing refugees already settled in Canada. These were people from Sierra Leone, Bhutan, Cambodia, and other areas of turmoil who had found a new home and a new life in Canada. The goal of this project was to use the experiences of earlier waves of refugees to develop best practices for dealing with the imminent influx of new, Syrian refugees...

Posted by Asad Makhani on

Eva Lemaire: Voices of Migrant Minors: Navigating Immigration to France via Education, Social Welfare, and Immigration

Born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, in the North of France, I can catch a glimpse of the English Coast from my childhood-bedroom window, weather permitting. How many migrants have also cast their gaze in the same direction, upon the cliffs of Folkstone or Dover (England), an “El Dorado” seemingly within easy reach?

Currently, due to international politics, Syrian refugees are converging in the North of France, in Boulogne and even more so in Calais, which has long been a fulcrum point for migrant populations...

Posted by Eva Lemaire on

Mai-Linh Huynh: Speech for St. Edmund’s Parish fundraising event (November 13, 2015)

Ladies and gentlemen, I stand here before you as testimony of what hope can achieve.

I was born a refugee with no place to call home. I was born stateless. For about a year, my family and I lived in a refugee camp, in a shanty tent with a dirt floor on which we slept. We had no money and no material belongings. All that was sustaining us was hope. Hope that there was a better life than the one we left behind in Vietnam.

Tonight, I'll be sharing a story about a Vietnamese refugee family — my family — and their heroic feats to find a new life, and of a church community from northern SK who reached out to my family and gave us hope for a better life here in Canada...

Posted by Mai-Linh Huynh on

Jane Hurly: One touch of Nature: Nature-based leisure may hold a key to refugee integration

The question of how to integrate refugees into society has politicians scratching their heads. Nature, it turns out, may hold a key.

Earlier this year I completed my master’s degree thesis having conducted research looking at the impact of nature-based leisure on the integration of refugees in Canada. My interest in this research sprang from my own experience of leisure in Canada’s national parks, and the mountain parks in particular, as a new immigrant over 30 years ago. Drawn to those magnificent and iconic landscapes I’d only seen in books and on postcards awakened in me a sense of belonging in my new country and I return to them often for solace, restoration, and peace...

Posted by Jane Hurly on

Megan and Shayne Woodsmith: Without a voice

On a recent trip to Paris, we visited a migrant camp in an abandoned high school in northern Paris on Rue Jean Quarre. A friend helps migrants and refugees with paperwork and he offered to escort us to the school to meet a few of the migrants. The former school now houses about 250 migrants and is separated into two halves—one side for men and the other side for women and children.

When we enter a classroom, we see about twenty men sitting and lying on the mattress-lined floor. Their kitchen is in one corner of the room—it consists of two portable tables, a few plastic bowls full of water, and a collection of packaged food that was donated by local Parisians...

Posted by Megan and Shayne Woodsmith on