‘I’m in Winnipeg and I like it’: Newcomer youth meet to talk job skills, challenges

February 11, 2017

By CBC News |

Tucked at the edge of Winnipeg’s Exchange District, a classroom of teens was full of laughs on Saturday as participants joked, brainstormed and bonded at the latest meeting of a brand-new pilot program catering to newcomer youth.

As light-hearted as they often seemed, they were talking about issues they take seriously: the challenges facing new Canadians, barriers to their employment and how they’re going to overcome them to achieve their goals.

The meeting was part of the Newcomer Youth Civic Engagement Program, run by the Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (NEEDS) Centre. According to NEEDS staffer Adesuwa Ero, the leadership program targets newcomers ages 16 to 21 to develop skills, learn about Canadian values and become more involved in the community.

“I pretty feel good because some newcomers, they don’t get the chances to participate in these programs like this,”said Murhula Mulumeoderhwa. “From this program, I learned a lot of things.”

Mulumeoderhwa was raised in Uganda and lived in Congo briefly before coming to Canada.

“I’m in Winnipeg and I like it,” he said.

Campaign posters

If you live in Winnipeg, the group’s latest project is coming soon to a bus near you: a series of posters designed by the participants sharing their key messages for the public about hurdles facing new Canadians as they try to find a job will be put up in buses around the city.

“As a newcomer youth, our diversity, the way we present ourselves in the community, is now how we can also pay back to the community when we do our job,” said Rachelle Kabuha. Kabuha came to Canada from Congo in 2015.

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