In the Winter 2014, a group of eight young newcomers affiliated with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society’s Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre produced a film about their experiences in Calgary and concerns for the future. The film describes the experiences of these youth arriving to our city, their concerns for their families and the future, and their experiences coming to feel as Calgarians in a place of their own.
This initiative was made possible with the collaboration of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society’s Leena Mahmoodi (Refugee Child Enhanced Integration Program Coordinator) and funding from a Canadian Institutes of Health Research project titled Voices against Violence. It was facilitated by post-doctoral research fellow Rita Isabel Henderson, who is based out of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Voices against Violence seeks to engage youth in identifying structural or institutionalized sources of harm to their wellbeing, as well as mechanisms for resilience, that may be so commonplace that they are taken to be natural. This project spans numerous Canadian cities, and has also included other groups in Calgary, including an urban Aboriginal youth group affiliated with the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth; a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender/sexual, Queer group with the support of the Wild Rose United Church; and a Sudanese youth group with the collaboration of Calgary’s branch of the Darfur Association of Canada and the Fur Community Association. Several youth from these initiatives are currently becoming involved with the larger project’s National Youth Advisory Board, which is dedicated to collaboratively engaging youth in confronting structural violence. For more information on Voices against Violence see: voicesagainstviolence.ca/project.html.