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Youth have their Say

by Sandrina DeFinney

Photo: Lien Tran

"Our differences make our lives richer, our similarities too."

"Care! Don't stereotype! Make the extra effort!"

"Invite people and friends to your home."

Immigrant youth living in Greater Victoria joined together this summer to discover their similarities and celebrate their differences. Forty two youth aged 9 to18 years, representing 15 different countries, spent six weeks of their summer attending workshops, creating art, expressing their ideas and feelings, and having lots of fun. Sponsored by the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA), this summer camp was another component of their ongoing youth programmes.

The camp offered immigrant youth a supportive and challenging environment where topics such as multiculturalism, racism and integration were addressed. Through workshops like the multicultural mural, role play, and image theatre, the youth were able to raise their own cultural awareness and teach others about cultural sensitivity. This was a great opportunity for the youth to develop leadership and communication, as well as to build on their own sense of cultural identity. Definitely a summer filled with fun and learning for youth, staff and volunteers.

Sandrina DeFinney is a 4th year student at UVic in the Child and Youth Care Programme. She was the Facilitator for the ICA Summer Youth Group and now will continue as a volunteer with the Group.

"It's okay to tell someone (teacher, parent, friend) if someone makes fun of your culture."

"It's okay to be who you are, to be yourself."

"Teach others that it's no good to support racism."

"Don't make fun of what you don't understand.."

"Have cultural exchange days to share foods, dances, information, friends, language, share!"

Photo: Corrine Lee

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