The Child and Youth Refugee Research Coalition (CYRRC) is a Canadian network of researchers and community partners working together to better understand what helps young refugees settle in Canada.
The Refuge is our podcast through which we hope to share what we have learned with a greater number of service providers and the public. We discuss subjects like how refugee youth are settling into schools, the language learning needs of refugee children, how refugee families are integrating in Canada, and what are their economic situations.
Starting Over: Refugee Youth and Interrupted Schooling
Welcome to the ninth episode of The Refuge in which we discuss experiences of youth who arrive in Canada with interrupted schooling. What are the challenges of re-entering the school system? What supports are needed for youth?
Our guests include Anyieth Maduk Manyuon – who came to Canada from Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya in January 2022. She was in her final year of Pharmacy in Medical College when she relocated and is now working while waiting to resume her education; Reuben Garang – Executive Director of Immigrant Partnership Winnipeg and former Policy Analyst and Community Outreach Advisor for the Government of Manitoba; and Susan Brigham – Professor in the Faculty of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU), her research interests include immigration, diversity, adult and higher education, and gender.
Youth Involvement in Research & Community Programs
Welcome to the eighth episode of The Refuge in which we discuss the importance of involving youth in research and community programs. This episode speaks to researchers, community organizations, and service providers - anyone concerned with the settlement and wellbeing of youth with refugee experience.
Our guests for this episode include Fawziah Alkmaki - a PhD Candidate at Western University; Fawziah’s primary research interest is health and social inequalities in disadvantaged populations; Mahmoud Sayed - originally from Afghanistan, he came to Canada in 2015 and has been working with the Youth Outreach team at the YMCA Centre for Immigrant Programs for 5 years; and Abdul Alsaidan - Child and Youth Settlement Manager at the YMCA Centre for Immigrant Programs; raised in the Middle East, U.S., and Australia, Abdul believes that there is no “one size fits all” approach to successful newcomer youth programs.
Supporting the Mental Health of Refugee Youth
For Mental Health Week, we’re bringing greater awareness to the mental health challenges often faced by refugee youth. Pre-migration experiences—including separation from or loss of family—often result in PTSD, depression and anxiety; stigma and discrimination can compound these issues.
Our guests on this episode are Redab Al-Janaideh – postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, her research focuses on refugee and migrant children’s development, education, and wellbeing; Jean de Dieu Basabose – researcher for Whole Family Lab at the University of Waterloo who uses his refugee experience to promote community-based research on resilience, integration, and wellbeing of refugee families; and Gemechu Abeshu – postdoctoral fellow at York University. Originally from Oromia in Ethiopia, his research focuses on refugee integration, internally displaced persons, emerging forms of political power, and conflict and resolution systems.
Our guests offer perspectives on the most common mental health challenges faced by youth with refugee experience, coping mechanisms, and how to support refugee youth’s wellbeing.
Five Years of Settlement: Syrians in Canada
The arrival of a large number of Syrian refugees between 2015-2017 was transformative for Canada. In this episode of the Refuge, we reflect on what we have collectively learned from the experience of Syrian refugees settling in Canada, and how we can apply this knowledge to support future groups of refugees, including 40,000 Afghan refugees who are currently being resettled.
Joining us for this discussion are Thomas Soehl - Associate Professor of Sociology and the Canada Research Chair in International Migration at McGill University and the Principal Investigator of the Tajribati-Canada project, a study of about 2000 Syrians who resettled in Canada; Mounir Nasri - a social entrepreneur in the newcomer inclusion and settlement sector in Toronto who built several social impact projects in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq prior to his arrival in Canada under the Private Sponsorship program for Syrian refugees; and Marwa Khobieh - interim Executive Director of the Syrian Canadian Foundation and a community researcher at York University with the Centre for Refugee Studies.
COVID-19: Challenges and Resilience
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged all of us; however, for many refugee families, social isolation, online learning, and stay-at-home orders compounded the challenges they were already facing. At the same time, the resilience of refugee women and youth was apparent as they created opportunities to contribute to their communities.
In this episode of the Refuge, we are joined by Anwar Alhjooj - Program and Intercultural Coordinator at Montreal City Mission, Hala Younis - a 15-year-old Palestinian living in Montreal, Quebec, and Stacey Wilson-Forsberg - Associate Professor in the Human Rights & Human Diversity Program at Wilfrid Laurier University and Director of the Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa.
Guests share their personal experiences and research about this challenging time, as well as recommendations for how to better support youth and their families as we recover and move forward together.
Here and There: Language Learning and Wellbeing in Canada and Germany
Welcome to the fourth episode of The Refuge!
Coinciding with the start of the new academic year, we continue our discussion of refugee children’s wellbeing and language learning; focusing on supports available in schools and communities. We also cast an eye on the differences and similarities between refugee experiences in Canada and Germany.
Joining us to share their perspectives are Katrin Lindner - Associate Professor at the German Department of the University of Munich, Becky Chen - Professor of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and Monique Gagne - Research Associate with the Human Early Learning Partnership at the University of British Columbia.
Our guests offer a range of recommendations on how schools, teachers, and government policies can better support refugee children and their families.