Photo Gallery

Building Solidarity Between Communities: Indigenous and Refugee Youth in Surrey

Following a series of dialogues in Fall 2017, the LIP Refugee Youth team and the youth team from FRAFCA organized a full-day retreat at the end of January with approximately fifty youth. Chief Marilyn Gabriel of Kwantlen First Nation and her family welcomed the youth into their longhouse for a day of ceremony and ritual at the Kwantlen First Nation Cultural Building in Fort Langley.

For the refugee youth, the process of leadership development, facilitating dialogue, and engaging in a profound cultural experience led to new levels of empathy, understanding, and appreciation of the commonalities across cultures. This process gave the youth participants space to acknowledge their sometimes painful pasts and grow from them as they move forward in life.

Find out more about this project

  • Hand-made world map, "Connecting Our World."
    Group of youth sitting in longhouse.
    Indigenous youth wear traditional garb.
    Indigenous youth presenting to the group.
    Kwantlen elder, Kevin Kelly, leads a drumming circle in the Kwantlen First Nation longhouse.
    Youth place flags on a paper.
    Three young women talking.
    Youth sitting cross legged on the floor.
    Large group sitting cross legged on the floor in the longhouse.
    Youth sitting cross-legged.
    Youth is blanketed.
Surrey LIP Stakeholder Forum - March 8, 2018

This March we gathered together our partners, community members, and Surrey residents to "tell Surrey's story!"

We not only celebrated some of our key projects this year, such as Surrey NEW (Newcomer Employment Week) and our Refugee Youth Team's Dialogues with Indigenous youth from FRAFCA, but we were also joined by guest speakers from IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada), the Vancouver Foundation, and ISS of BC, as well UBC researcher, Dan Hiebert, to discover what the future holds for Surrey. 

  • A woman speaking at a podium
    An audience watches a presentation
    A group of young people speak at a podium.
    A woman and a man speaking at a podium.
    Two woman speaking at a podium
    A woman and a man speaking at a podium
    A crowd seating in roundtables in a banquet room
    Group of youth posing for camera
    Young man talking in a group
    Two women standing and talking
    People talking around a table
    Man and a woman talking around a table
    A man talking at a podium in front of a crowd
    A man standing at a podium
    A woman speaks into a microphone
Options Refugee Youth Project

Creating unforgettable experiences while providing opportunities for newcomer youth to improve their English skills is something we strive to achieve at the Options Youth Literacy Project.

Read more about the project!

Options Refugee Youth Literacy Project is currently funded by the Community Foundations of Canada, awarded through the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership.

  • Options Language Skills Instructor Brandon Koo and Options Volunteer Support Worker Alysha Baratta, took a number of youth students to a Vancouver Canucks game (tickets courtesy of Options).
    To reinforce carefully chosen themes, students have the opportunity to reflect and write down their thoughts and what they have learned during in-class journal writing time.  This is coupled with the opportunity to deliver mini presentations in front of fellow classmates.
    Volunteers have been an amazing addition to our Options Refugee Youth Literacy Project.  They offer classroom support to our instructor as well as one-on-one attention/coaching for our students.
    Another important theme recently covered is ‘Financial Literacy’.  With the help of our volunteers, students learned how to budget and shop smart.
    Students had a chance to meet the RCMP officers, ask questions, and learn how to deal with real life scenarios that occur in Surrey schools.
    With the help of RCMP Diversity Coordinator Yousef Nasimi, the Youth Literacy Project recently held a presentation and discussion on how to deal with bullies and peer pressure both online and offline.
    Options Language Skills Instructor Brandon Koo and Options Volunteer Support Worker Alysha Baratta, took a number of youth students to a Vancouver Canucks game (tickets courtesy of Options).
Surrey NEW: Newcomer Employment Week

From October 20 - 27, 2017 Surrey LIP organized the inaugural Surrey Newcomer Employment Week! Branded "Surrey NEW," over 20 partners came together to organize nearly 40 events taking place across the city! From Hiring Fairs to Open Houses to seminars to mock interview sessions, hundreds of newcomers were able to connect with employers and service providers to help bridge the gap between them and meaningful employment. 

  • The GAP hires newcomer youth!
    Dynamic Architectural Doors & Windows at the Career Fair
    ISS of BC Booth at Career Fair
    MOSAIC at Career Fair
    City of Surrey and Surrey Libraries Career Fair
    Extreme Networking Forum hosted by Options
    Fast Track to Getting Hired from S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
    Jacqueline de Raadt of ASTTBC
    DIVERSEcity's Immigrant Entrepreneur & Small Business Fair!
    Vancity's Open House
    Kue and Jenn at the Surrey LIP booth at the Career Fair
    Douglas College booth at Career Fair
    PICS booth at Career Fair
    Career Fair at SFU Surrey
Surrey NEW: Closing Reception

Over 80 business leaders, professionals, employers, service providers, and newcomers came together to celebrate the the success of the first Surrey Newcomer Employment Week! Sponsored by Vancity and with the musical accompaniment of the KPU jazz band, the event also featured a display of paintings by Hasan Alsaleh, who recently arrived in Canada from Syria. 

  • Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
    Surrey NEW Closing Reception October 30, 2017
Welcoming Newcomer Event by Surrey IAR: Everyone in Surrey Belongs!

On May 13, 2017, Surrey Immigrant Advisory Roundtable organized a Welcoming Newcomers event: Everyone Belongs in Surrey! Close to 100 residents registered for the 4-hour event and enjoyed many fun activities, entertainment and great food at the Fleetwood Community Centre. A huge thanks to Fleetwood Community Centre staff for being super helpful during the event. Many local agencies helped to promote the event, including MCC and other community agencies. Event was attended by many local families and there were a number of attendees who just arrived to Canada. Thanks to OPTIONS, M.O.S.A.I.C. and Avia Employment Services (Back in Motion) staff as well as the Somali Youth Organization volunteers for helping to make this event such a success. A special thanks goes to RBC staff who volunteered at the event as a part of their Day of Caring program. The Surrey IAR conducted a short survey on the needs of newcomers in the area. Stay tuned for the results!

  • Surrey IAR  members before the event
Surrey IAR Workshop at C2U Expo Conference

On May 1, 2017, Surrey IAR led a "Community Journey" workshop at the 2017 C2U Expo - Community Jam (pre-conference)  in Surrey. Over 30 people attended two sessions led by six IAR members who talked about their journey, shared their challenges and exchanged lessons with other partnerships.

Surrey Community Citizenship Committee

First Surrey Community Citizenship Committee took place on April 12, 2017 at City Hall. The Ceremony was attended by over 200 community members including 60 new citizens who were sworn on that day. The event included community roundtable discussions, official citizenship ceremony and a reception. During roundtable discussions, participants shared what it meant for them to be active citizens. Discussions were facilitated by a number of community leaders including Steve Dooley, SFU-Surrey Executive Director and Councillor Villeneuve. The event was organized by LIP Citizenship Ceremony Committee co-chaired by Rosy Takhar and Wafa Al-Jabiri.

Surrey LIP Meeting with Minister Hussen - April 6, 2017

On April 6, 2017, Surrey LIP Committee and IAR members met with the Minister Hussen at Surrey City Hall. Over 20 representatives from immigrant serving agencies, mainstream organizations and local immigrant/refugee residents met with the Minister for a two-hour discussion on some of the successes and challenges in the Surrey LIP work.

Surrey Newcomer Youth Conference - March 18 2017

The 2nd Annual Surrey Newcomer Youth Conference took place on March 18, 2017. The event was planned by a Surrey Refugee Youth Planning Team with the support of the Surrey LIP team and two consultants. Over 70 youth attended a full day event and were inspired by amazing keynote speakers like Jorge Salazar who came to Canada as a refugee many years ago and who now runs a not-for-profit organization in Vancouver. Youth learnt how they can fund their ideas, find space for their activities and organize themselves to advocate for and connect with each other.