Refugees are those that are compelled to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or a natural disaster. Fortunately, Canada has been inclined to accept refugees from other countries in times of hardship given that over the past 10 years, approximately 26 000 refugees arrived in Canada annually. Despite this immense number of refugees continuing to increase, the Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) are rapidly decreasing.
With the lack of governmental support, it is difficult for these families to settle into a new country and adapt to their new lifestyles as a refugee in a foreign country. Specifically, they are marginalized with barriers including poverty, mental and emotional disorders, racism, and they also face language barriers and unemployment. Though these barriers may be adverse to overcome, it is possible with the help of support systems and facilitations, that we work to provide. Since schools are usually not prepared to provide specialized services to refugees through mental health counselling and language support, One Child, One World helps refugees access to these services and resources. Moreover, to eliminate the financial barriers that may stop a refugee child from seeking extra support in school, One Child, One World ensures to offer the extra support for free.
Meanwhile, low-income working families are described as “those earning less than twice the federal poverty line” (Population Reference Bureau, 2016). These families will indefinitely face numerous challenges in the aim to achieve a lifestyle that those with families above the poverty line find simply a given. In more depth, this means that an upbringing in a household with a lack of financial stability will induce educational barriers in the the pathway of success and stability.
The education of those in low-income families are severely affected when they are inhibited from participating in certain activities of cognitive development and understanding of general knowledge regarding their health, relationships, and government aid. Firstly, they have demonstrated to often experience consequential side-effects on their health, since a healthy diet and lifestyle is often regarded as impossible to financially support. Identical to the impact on their physical health, their mental health is greatly impacted as well. They are more likely to develop a negative outlook on minor setbacks or problems, which leads to an increase in a stigmatized view of social interaction, as well as an increased hopelessness and lack of motivation regarding career pathways and prospect building. Finally, the system in place by the government lacks the proper care required by a low-income family. To expand, social insurance not keeping up with inflation. Food inflation higher than CPI in recent years, which means that low-income families cannot afford basic supplies.
Our last group within our target demographic are newly-immigrated families. These people are those who have just recently (within 4 years) left their homeland and arrived in Canada for a new life. As a multicultural society, Canada has a large population of new immigrants from many different countries around the world. Foreign born population in Canada represented 20.6% of the total population in 2014 which was the highest proportion among the G8 countries.
Newcomers to Canada experience many difficulties with several factors such as employment, financial problems, communication, weather conditions, etc. Discrimination is demonstrated towards many immigrants, through the use of racial stereotypes. These traits are still visible in our society and new immigrants can often feel isolated as they may have different living habits and cultural practises. Another barrier is language, many new immigrants have trouble adapting to a different language when immigrating to places that are unfamiliar. Learning a new language is critical when accessing resources that require interacting with others.
To help all three of our target demographics the best we can, we offer both camps and tutoring programs free of cost. Our camps, aimed at children aged 6-12, focus on providing the same experience of that of a for-profit camp, with a little extra help. At times of displacement and transition, many refugees struggle with being able to open up and talk about their stories. We focus on help improving their mental well-being as well as empowering them to share their story. In addition, we can offer these same tools and educational resources from our camps to children of low-income status. We ensure that they can benefit from the same experiences given to families that are able to afford such. Through the education received in camps, through workshops on cooking, physical and mental health, and a general expansion into other categories of knowledge like science and art, it guides them to an understanding into the essential aspects of their lives, as well as the parts they have the possibility to build. We provide all needed resources and food throughout the camp, ensuring that the campers will not need to pay a single penny while still having a great experience.
For our tutoring camps, we acknowledge that education is another crucial issue refugees face. While a great percentage of refugees have a secondary education or less, according to the Globe and Mail, many have not educationally attained much. In addition, due to conflict in their motherland, their education may have also been interrupted at a young age. The language barrier plays another obstacle. In fact, according to the Globe and Mail, about 62% of refugees in Ontario are unable to speak neither of the official languages. Our tutoring program assists those who struggle with understanding the material or learning a new language–specifically English or French, in order to be able to communicate better with others. For those struggling with money, the free tutoring program would be an essential resources to any child needing extra time to develop their understanding of the lesson taught at school. Without a fee, any child in need of these tools will no longer be deterred away from their ability to perform well in the education system.
With our help, newly immigrated children can learn the equivalence of those who already have access and are being provided with these resources. We provide both camps and tutoring programs that are free of cost, to ensure that every child is provided with the education and fun to fully grow into educated, independent and diverse people of our community.
One Child One World is composed of 7 high school students who’s purpose of operation is to serve those that would not otherwise receive the proper educational resources to set a fundamental foundation of education. With the continuations of our efforts, we hope that those affected will be impacted long-term, by naturally passing on their capabilities from their generation on.