Surrey Refugee Youth Team

The Surrey LIP Committee identified the need to support opportunities for youth to convene, connect across cultures, share their experiences and perspectives, and build leadership skills. It is one of the priorities in the Surrey Refugee Integration Strategy.

The Surrey Refugee Youth Team was established in summer 2017. It is a leadership group comprised of youth living in Surrey who came to Canada as refugees. Members provide updates, information and input to support the Surrey LIP’s decisions and planning.

The Surrey Refugee Youth Team is co-chaired by four Surrey Refugee Youth Team Leaders, who work closely with the Surrey LIP Project Team and Surrey Refugee Youth Team to plan and conduct youth engagement activities and support refugee youth engagement in the Surrey LIP.

Get to know our co-chairs:

Dacious Richardson, Co-Chair

Country of Origin: Liberia

Year of Arrival to Canada: 2011

Language(s) Spoken: English

Why did you choose to be a member of the Surrey Refugee Youth Team?

To make an impact and be a change to my community. Most especially, having my voice heard for all refugees through decision making and planning.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges impacting refugee youth in Surrey?

The biggest challenge is reaching out to the youth and getting them involved. However, one they are involved, I find it easy to stay in touch through communication.

What is your vision for Surrey?

To have an inclusive Surrey where everyone is welcomed and free to contribute to our community and society. I do like to achieve this as a long-term member.

 

Nargis Babrakzai, Co-Chair

Country of Origin: Afghanistan

Year of Arrival to Canada: 2015

Language(s) Spoken: Pashto, Farsi, Hindi, English, Urdu, Dari

Why did you choose to be a member of the Surrey Refugee Youth Team?

First of all, through this group I learn a lot of things, such as public speaking, creating events, newcomer challenges, and many more skills. I want to share all these skills and I want to learn more.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges impacting refugee youth in Surrey?

Culture, Language, Law, Transportation, and Health

What is your vision for Surrey?

To make this place more welcoming and suitable for newcomers.

 

Kue K’nyawmupoe, Co-Chair

Country of Origin: Karen State, Myanmar

Year of Arrival to Canada: 2007

Language(s) Spoken: Karen, English

Why did you choose to be a member of the Surrey Refugee Youth Team?

As a former member of the Surrey Refugee Youth Team, I can honestly say that I developed self-confidence and leadership skills, which offered me the opportunity to grow as a person.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges impacting refugee youth in Surrey?

I think many barriers, including language, are blocking newcomer youth from connecting with potential opportunities that can help them thrive.

What is your vision for Surrey?

To include refugee / immigrant youth in decision-making processes, allowing them to express their ideas and thoughts. Ultimately, to make a positive change in Surrey.

 

Mumtaz Sultan, Co-Chair

Country of Origin: Syria

Year of Arrival to Canada: 2017

Language(s) Spoken: English, Arabic, Romanian, Russian

Why did you choose to be a member of the Surrey Refugee Youth Team?

When I first saw the goals of the Team and what was the Team's goal, I thought to myself that this would be a great opportunity to get to know the community better and to enhance and use my leadership skills while helping and discovering the community.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges impacting refugee youth in Surrey?

There are many challenges impacting refugee youth and I think that a major challenge is the language barrier and social integration with other youth. These two challenges are usually related to one another and one can cause the other.

What is your vision for Surrey?

I see Surrey as a modern city with a diverse number of people, cultures, ideas and opinions. A place where anyone from the community can easily access services for their needs and issues they are facing. I see Surrey as a city that is always developing its systems towards a better life for every individual.