FCJ Refugee Centre

“Open Education Program for Uprooted Youth” Grant



FCJ Refugee Centre was awarded a two-year grant in September 2013 to launch their “Open Education Program for Uprooted Youth” project. Refugee and newcomer youth face many challenges as they transition into Canadian society. One of the greatest challenges involves the barriers faced in accessing post-secondary education. Visitors, refugee claimants, temporary residents, and non-status youth are among those that are either barred access to or have disengaging and inequitable experiences within the education system. To mitigate this exclusion, the FCJ Refugee Centre developed their Open Education Program for Uprooted Youth (commonly called “Uprooted U”) to offer accessible, flexible, and community-centric learning opportunities for refugee and precarious status youth.

The six semester program brought students together once per week in an anti-oppressive “classroom” environment to learn curriculum taught by over 15 volunteer professors. The curriculum was developed using critical pedagogy, popular education and the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Essential Skills Passport. Students learned this curriculum based on their own goals, interests and abilities. Subjects taught included critical thinking, reading, writing, and presentation skills.

The FCJ Refugee Centre helps uprooted people overcome the challenges of rebuilding their lives in Canadian society. The Centre takes a community-driven, open-door approach to offer an integrated model of refugee protection, settlement services, education, and shelter for women and their children.

For more information on FCJ Refugee Centre and their programming, please visit: www.fcjrefugeecentre.org.