From Minister Ahmed Hussen to soccer star Alphonso Davies, Canada is home to many refugees who have made this country both rich in diversity and culture, as well as contributed to the economic advancement of all Canadians. Say Ça! emerged as an idea in 2015 as a direct response to Prime Minister Trudeau’s promise to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees. Knowing that living in Montreal meant that we would be welcoming many newcomers, we decided to take action. The organization was born early in 2016 with a mission to accompany refugee youth in their new city.
By opening our doors to refugees around the world, we enrich our communities and broaden our understanding of others. Diversity, and the values of inclusivity, are foundational components of all thriving cities. With proper support and organization, it can help those who are suffering rebuild meaningful and productive lives.
Kate, Say Ça! Board of Directors.
In these two years in which Say Ça! has been operating, we have had the honour of being welcomed into many families’ lives. Working with refugees has taught us to open our minds and hearts, identify our similarities, and complement each other with our differences. In this adventure, we have all learned to be better global citizens.
The one on one mentoring sessions are a way to connect with our students to help them through their challenges and goals, which helps us know what advice and ideas to share. Ultimately leading them to an easier integration into their new community.
Nour, tutor and mentor at Say Ça! since 2016.
I like everything we do at Say Ça!, but my favourite part is interacting with the mentors.
Omar, student at Say Ça! since 2017.
In World Refugee Day, we encourage others to open their borders and hearts to refugees and learn from one another. Empathy and openness bring down walls and help us build bridges that will make us stronger for generations to come.
I am very happy coming to Canada because it saved my life in every sense of the word. I currently live in Canada without any problems, and I am living as comfortable as if I were living in my home country Syria. I am very proud of living in Canada because I know that a promising future now awaits me. Canada is a beautiful country where respect is shared between everyone, young and old and vice versa. I sincerely hope that Canada stays safe and welcoming for everyone.
Say Ça! student , age 17.
My mother and I, we were not aware that on June 20th we celebrated World Refugee Day. I imagine that after 30 years, it is easy to forget how we arrived. Time flies by. In a few decades, my mum has completed her studies at the University of Sherbrooke, married a Quebecer from Lac Saint Jean, and raised my sister and I with love and generosity. She has built a life and a home, far away from her childhood home. She is now rooted in Quebec. And as a true Quebecer, she remembers. She remembers the uncertainty and doubts when leaving Vietnam on a makeshift boat. She also remembers the generosity of the people who welcomed her and hosted her upon her arrival in Quebec. As her daughter, I know very well that if I am where I am today, it is because other people lend my mother a helping hand when she needed it the most. On June 20th, it is the time to remember that refugee or not, we are all human.
Suzie, tutor and mentor at Say Ça! since 2016.
If you would like to support our work, we encourage you to make a contribution through the following link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/say-ca-circle-of-support-for-refugee-and-newcomer-students-say-ca-cercle-de-so/