A video released in celebration of World Refugee Day 2020 helps children new to Canada to understand their rights, while teaching their friends how they can welcome refugees.
“Unpacking My Rights” features tips from children about small actions to help newcomer children feel welcome in Victoria.
The video is part of a collaboration between the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA), Royal Roads University and International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD), with support from the Capital Regional District and the Victoria Foundation.
Hosted by puppet Giggles (performed by Valeria Cortes, IICRD Associate/RRU Assoc. Faculty) and featuring her new friends Braydon, Jasmine and Cindy, the production connects with the UN High Commissioner for Refugee’s theme for this year’s World Refugee Day, “Every Action Counts”, by focusing on everyday friendly actions children and adults can do.
“Don’t make fun of them,” “show them around the school,” and “ask them to play catch” are a few things that Braydon, Jasmine and Cindy suggest – reflecting on their own experiences starting out in Canada.
The video also features local services for newcomer families such as housing, childcare, employment and learning English through a heartfelt conversation between Giggles and Gita John-Iyams, ICA’s Youth and Family Services Coordinator.
“We encourage families to watch the video to see a small glimpse of children’s journeys to settle into a new life – away from the people, places and things important to them,” says IICRD’s Elaina Mack. “Our hope is that learning about child rights can connect and inspire young people to take on everyday actions for creating a more just, inclusive and equal world.”
“These videos give us a wonderful insight into the wisdom children carry and provides us some space to bring the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into life in real ways for children beginning their lives in Canada,” says Assoc. Prof. Kathleen Manion of the School of Humanitarian Studies at Royal Roads.
You can find more information about programs and services for newcomer families and children, and ways to help, by visiting the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria and learning more about International Institute for Child Rights and Development projects.