Precarious status youth pursuing university degrees on 2018

FCJ Refugee centre, in partnership with York University, started the Access to Education program, which created two pathways for precarious status youth to pursue university degrees. As a result,the first group of students was accepted. Metro Morning shared one of the touching stories of the Canadian ‘dreamers’ finding home at York University
Access to Education is the first program of its kind in Canada that allow precarious status students to pursue university degrees while paying domestic fees. Over the course of nine months we created a bridging program to support youth who have been out of school for a little while to transition to university. The program, which consists of a unique and innovative course titled: Critical Approaches to Migration and Uprootedness, is housed in the sociology department. Upon successful completion of the course, students were able to apply directly to undergraduate programs at York. The other pathway involves direct admissions to York University for recent high school graduates. We have been working on the administrative changes needed, which include everything from how to enrol students, create a safe campus environment, provide specialized student supports, etc. The first bridging course was launched exactly one year ago. Ten students have been accepted by York University after the implementation of the Access to Education Program

Giving time at Ikea

Holiday season is here and it is giving time

Toronto, Canada, December, 2017 –   As part of the Holiday Season, FCJ Refugee Center has started to sell Christmas trees at Ikea north York location

FCJ Refugee Center is making a call to everyone on this season   to reflect generosity by the work the centre does in making the society a better place for vulnerable populations.

On this giving season, FCJ Refugee Centre calls on everyone to consider making a gift to show your support to refugees and other precarious migrants.

You can support us buying a CHRISTMAS TREE AT IKEA NORTH YORK .Every time that you buy a CHISTMAS TREE at this location, you will be supporting refugees and other vulnerable populations

ADDRESS: 15 Provost Dr, Toronto, ON M2K 2X9

Those who are interested in support FCJ Refugee Centre visit our website and follow us on Facebook, and Twitter.

Take a look at the video after our Christmas tree season last year:

About FCJ Refugee Center

FCJ Refugee Centre serves refugees and others at risk due to their immigration status, and welcomes anyone asking for advice, counsel and support regarding their refugee or immigration claim process. We address systemic issues that newly arrived refugee claimants face in Canada including lack of resources, marginalization, and discrimination.

FCJ Refugee Centre shares the voice of uprooted people on Giving Tuesday 2017

Global Day of Giving Takes Place this Year on November 28th

As part of the 26th anniversary, FCJ Refugee Center has started the first phase of its online campaign to join the Global Day of Giving. GivingTuesday is a movement that has been driven by individuals, charities, businesses and communities across Canada and in countries around the world. Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season.

FCJ Refugee Center joined the campaign to reflect generosity by the work it does in making the society a better place for vulnerable populations.

On occasion of the FCJ Refugee Centre’s anniversary, each day leading up to Giving Tuesday on November 28, 2017, the Centre is highlighting the 26 values that underlie the work they do.   These values, including advocacy & resiliency, diversity & intersectionality, LGBTQ+ and youth engagement, guide followed by the FCJ Refugee Centre’s efforts to  provide holistic services and programs that strive to meet the vast needs of Toronto’s precarious population.

On this giving season, FCJ Refugee Centre calls on everyone to consider making a gift to show your support  of these values and FCJ’s work. Those who are interested in joining FCJ Refugee Center’s GivingTuesday initiative can visit our website and follow us on Facebook, and Twitter.

About FCJ Refugee Center

FCJ Refugee Centre serves refugees and others at risk due to their immigration status, and welcomes anyone asking for advice, counsel and support regarding their refugee or immigration claim process. We address systemic issues that newly arrived refugee claimants face in Canada including lack of resources, marginalization, and discrimination.

About GivingTuesday (#GivingTuesdayCA)

GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate giving of all kinds, celebrated on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year it falls on November 28, 2017.

New Project: Migrant Workers Welcome Centre

The FCJ Refugee Centre was one of the few organizations in Ontario who received  three year funding from the MCSS to continue working with exploited or at risk migrant workers.

Currently, there is a lack of services, settlement and/or legal available to migrant workers who are exploited or at risk. To respond to this, the FCJ Refugee Centre received financial support to set up a Migrant Workers Welcome Centre, with three main goals: 1) to prevent instances of labour exploitation by informing migrant workers about labour and immigration laws, policies and available community supports; 2) to identify at-risk or potential labour exploitation cases with the support of peers, and offer holistic case management support services; 3) to collect information about the extent of labour exploitation as well as the complex experiences of migrant workers exploited within the spectrum.

Most specifically this project aims to outline the spectrum within which migrant workers are exploited, and the complexities of their unique needs and support which will reflect future policy development.

The initiatives proposed through this project will address multiple needs and gaps, including:

  • Case management: we will offer a wide range of in-house services, including immigration support and legal information; working with partner organizations to respond to the multifaceted needs of this population.
  • Accessible services: Although some activities will be based out of the FCJ Refugee Centre, services will be carried out mainly at sites across the GTA during flexible hours (evenings and/or weekend) and in areas with high concentrations of migrant workers.
  • Prevention: The Migrant Centre will offer a safe space for migrant workers to share their experiences in a non-judgmental and supportive environment while providing information (immigration laws, procedures, available resources, etc.). Sharing of information and tools will prevent situations of exploitation/trafficking and assist those already experiencing exploitation.
  • Policy Improvements: By collecting information about the instances of exploitation of migrant workers, we can inform and influence policy improvement.


York University Refugees Welcome Here: donate winter coat

On this time of the year


Finding warm clothing in the winter is a problem for vulnerable populations.
Many of our clients are in need of winter cloths: winter coats, sweatshirt, winter boots,etc.

We gratefully accept donations of winter clothing: Winter Coats; Boots; pants; Sleeping Bags, etc.

FCJ Refugee Centre thanks York University Refugees Welcome Here! campaign for supporting with the collection of winter cloth:

STARTING NOW! (Oct 23rd!)

As part of the York University Refugees Welcome Here! campaign we are collecting coats and winter clothing to support local immigrants and refugees at the FCJ Refugee Centre to (literally!) help give a warmer welcome to our community.

We are also tabling to raise awareness of refugee issues and invite students to join this campaign. WUSC York – Keele, Amnesty International at York (AIY), York University Syria Response and Refugee Initiative and Islamic Relief at York University are collaborating and helping with the collection of these coats.

Coats may be dropped off at Room 107, McLaughlin College OR McLaughlin College Council or when the respective organizations are tabling until December 5th.

To join the Refugees Welcome Here! please contact us at and fill in our questionairre at !

The York University Syria Response and Refugee Initiative is providing logistical support. Please visit our site at to learn more and to get involved!

You can learn more about and follow the FCJ Refugee Centre at .



 Contact: Varka : or 416- 469 9754 ext.241


Giving Tuesday on November 28

The FCJ Refugee Centre is celebrating 26 years of welcoming and walking with uprooted people. Each day leading up to Giving Tuesday on November 28, 2017, we are highlighting the 26 values that underlie the work that we do.

Through these values we build a community open to everyone through holistic services and programs that strive to meet the vast needs of Toronto’s newcomers.

Please consider making a gift on Giving Tuesday to show your support to these values and FCJ’s work.

For Donations click here

Value of the day:


Our greatest hope is that all persons who come to the FCJ Refugee Centre are provided the support that they need to integrate themselves into life in Canada and build a new home for themselves and their family. FCJ knows that this cannot be easy and that many uprooted people face many challenges before they are successful. As refugees or immigrants themselves, FCJ staff know and understand these challenges, which is FCJ strives to show compassion towards any and all people who come to us. Beyond our services, we also strive to provide a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen with, a hand to help with, and a person that will stand beside the other.

November 27th: FAMILY

The fundamental unit of any society is family, biological or not. In our office we feel like a family and interact like a family. We care for each other as members of one family, and our family keeps growing. That is why FCJ gives high priority to family integration, as all families should be united.


FCJ Refugee Centre’s model of care is holistic and focused on improving mental, physical and spiritual health. Through a variety of supportive programs and initiatives, the Centre has helped newcomers to take better care of their bodies, minds and lives thus improving their overall wellness. We aim to help individuals to de-stress and cope with the challenges of living in a stressful environment.

November 23rd: RECREATION

Recreation is crucial to human development, supporting creativity, health and social interaction. At the FCJ Refugee Centre, we strive to offer recreational opportunities for the youth network, the residents and other members of our community. Through these activities we have not only learned and taught new things, but were able to express ourselves in new ways.


The FCJ Refugee Centre considers itself part of the national and international community working to support and advocate for refugees. We network with a number of national and international organizations, partner with local groups and develop relationships with diverse individuals.


One of the core services we provide is the transitional housing program for recently arrived women and their children. We welcome refugee women from all around the world, who are able to build new and diverse communities. The FCJ Refugee Centre also prioritizes the need for shelter by reserving emergency spaces so that there is always a bed available for those in need.

November 20th: JUSTICE

The FCJ Refugee Centre is recognized for assisting refugees and people without status who might not otherwise benefit from legal services or the legal system itself, thus being denied access to justice. We also support uprooted people in seeking justice in a variety of areas, advocating where necessary and empowering people to demand their rights.

November 17th: INFORMATION

Access to information is a fundamental right, as it enables people to make empowered decisions. Thus, FCJ Refugee Centre sees access to information as one of its top priorities, through legal education, popular education and ongoing support. Uprooted people in particular need timely and accurate information so that they can establish themselves in Canada.

November 16th: SERVICE/SUPPORT

The FCJ Refugee Centre offers to uprooted people, regardless of their immigration status, a holistic approach which takes into account their compelling story, their unique set of needs and the barriers they face. As such we attempt to offer the greatest quantity and quality of services and supports possible.


Members of the FCJ Youth Network have defined youth engagement as “the meaningful and ongoing inclusion and participation of self-defined youth in the activities of the FCJ Refugee Centre – including program development, program implementation, planning, decision-making and even employment.” The FCJ Refugee Centre believes that youth are the driving force for the advancement of any society and is committed to offering a space that is easily accessible and inclusive where the youth will be fully valued, recognized and engaged. We believe that this space is shaped by the youth, and as such should continually acknowledge and celebrate their talents, resiliency and contributions to society.

Youth are the driving force for the advancement of any society


The FCJ Refugee Centre is an open space that welcomes all uprooted persons, and works from an intersectionality lens to offer client-centred services. Many of the people that come to the Centre for support may have experienced various forms of oppression, thus we strive to provide a space that is safe and free from discrimination. Through our vast networks and close ties, we are able to effectively direct and support people as they make their new path.

November 13th: GRASSROOTS

The FCJ Refugee Centre is a grassroots organization. Yet, while we are small, we are able to accomplish many things! The Centre believes that issues, particularly marginalization and oppression, can be addressed from the ground up through grassroots-level work. By walking with uprooted people, we identify gaps in systems and services and try to remedy them with few resources but plenty of peer support and allied heads and hands.

November 10th: PEER MENTORING

The FCJ Refugee Centre believes that for uprooted people, refugees or newcomers, the best way to get integrated in a society is through peer mentorship… equals helping equals. For any uprooted person who arrives in this new land, to meet with a peer, seasoned or not, is a way to share experiences, insights and expertise. The mentoring could include socialization, orientation, advising etc., which are pivotal to life in a new country.

November 9th: KITCHEN TABLE

The FCJ Refugee Centre deeply understands the feeling and value of the kitchen in the culture of uprooted people. Once people are uprooted, it may be a long time before they can get settled in their own home and at their own kitchen table. Not only do staff, students and volunteers eat together every day at the Centre, but our vision of community welcomes newcomers to join us around our kitchen table and feel like they are at home away from home. For a family, eating together in a kitchen is the utmost expression of solidarity, safety, of feeling at home.

November 8th: NO EMPTY HANDS

The FCJ Refugee Centre’s motto is to never send anyone away with empty hands. Whatever the issue, worry or concern that someone might have, the Centre either provides appropriate services directly – since we may already offer that service as people have given us the chance to learn with them – or we refer the person to the right place where they can get the services they need.

November 7th: GENDER

The FCJ Refugee Centre considers gender as relational and self-defined as opposed to assigned, and recognizes the power relations involved in gender hierarchies. The Centre values the uniqueness of individuals’ self-defined identity, personality and character, and strives to fight gender-based oppression. In this context, the Centre aims to offer extra support to vulnerable individuals, particularly self-identified women.

November 6th: REFUGEES

Those that are uprooted or forcefully displaced are an invaluable asset to our society. Their strength and courage provides them an unlimited potential for greatness, and as future citizens of Canada they represent a rich tapestry of what society will become. FCJ believes that these people need a welcoming environment to have an opportunity to explore their potential, which is why its doors are always open to any and all that seek refuge.


The FCJ Refugee Centre works with survivors of human trafficking, by offering support with immigration and settlement needs and advocating at the municipal, provincial and federal level to ignite political change to improve protection. The Centre believes that: 1) human trafficking is largely driven by social, economic and political inequities; 2) the best protection for any trafficked person is his/her integration in the society that witnessed the human trafficking exploitation and cruelty and; 3) this phenomenon will continue to flourish as long as these local and global factors are not addressed by government policy in a coherent and strategic manner.


The FCJ Refugee Centre respectfully acknowledges our location on the traditional land of the different indigenous communities who have walked here; we recognize all people on this land as Treaty people, and stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities striving for self-determination. We also recognize that refugees, migrants and the Indigenous Peoples of Canada have shared similar experiences with injustice due to persecution, oppression, colonization, discrimination, stereotyping and exclusion, and we work to illuminate those connections in our community.


The FCJ Refugee Centre believes that vulnerability is often a consequence of oppressive and exclusive social, economic or political policies which fail to address the needs of members of society in an equitable manner. We prioritize the needs of vulnerable communities and individuals, particularly women and children, through our integration/settlement services, specifically transitional housing; our immigrant and refugee protection program; the popular education services; our ever growing youth group and our coordination of the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network.


The FCJ Refugee Centre understands intersectionality as intersecting social identities, such as age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, class, social status, immigration status, sexual identity, experiences with authority, violence, etc. All thse shape our uniqueness and inform our complicated relationships with power, privilege and oppression. Intersectional approaches invite us to value the diversity of those around us rather than make assumptions.

October 30: EDUCATION

The FCJ Refugee Centre sees education and the access to it, as a human right and as the most powerful instrument for humanity broadly, and for every individual as a human being. As such, the Centre works hard to increase access to education at all levels for everyone, particularly for uprooted youth, regardless of their immigration status. Educated youth are the future of this country.

October 27: LGBTQ+

The FCJ Refugee Centre recognizes that there is a vast and ever-growing constellation of identities within the LGBTQ+ community(ies). We also recognize that oppression and discrimination against individuals within this constellation take many different forms. As such, the Centre works to be organic in our reception and response, working towards creating a positive space free from judgement, assumption and discrimination.


The FCJ Refugee Centre recognizes that all uprooted people have strengths and capacities to contribute to the host country where their migration status is irregular. We understand and empathize with the experiences of precarious migrants who are viewed as disposable/temporary labour in Canada.  The Centre strives to offer holistic support and find ways and means to formalize status where possible.


The FCJ Refugee Centre recognizes that while people become uprooted for many different reasons, they each have an untold personal history. At the Centre, we walk with, support and empower uprooted people so that they can navigate their own path. We also feel that Canadian society can only grow in richness and strength when people learn about each other’s histories and why/how some of us were uprooted from our original homes.


The FCJ Refugee Centre is not limited to the pursuit of short term solutions for refugees, but engaged   in social justice oriented advocacy and the promotion of newcomer rights in their new society.  The Centre works to impact policy makers to develop a broader view of migrant issues in order to formulate sound policy at the municipal, provincial and national levels.




Diverse Residents One Community Celebration

Celebrate Diversity!!!

Join us on a special day of community celebration
The FCJ Refugee centre is inviting you to  the Diverse Residents One Community Celebration, a great festival that will raise positive awareness of the experiences of diverse newcomer populations while celebrating the talent and contributions of newcomers to Canadian society.
You can find a fest of delicious foods from different countries all around the world: Tacos, pupusas, samosas, gateau (Guinea fish cakes), Barbados coconut bread, Salvadorian quesadillas, etc.
There will be free workshops on Henna body art, jewellery, etc.
Also, you can find indigenous crafts, jewellery made from women in our houses, handmade souvenirs, and other crafts made by newcomers.
The initiative will engage around 100 of participants. Get inspired and connect with others. You are welcome to sign up and make new friends!
It will take place at Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street in Toronto, ON.
On October 5th, 2017, from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Free registration at:
Thank you
FCJ Refugee Centre

diverse residents

Refugee Forum: Realities at the border and new guidelines on gender identity

We want to advise you that the Refugee Forum that was scheduled to be held on September 19th has been postponed to September 28th.
The venue and the timing of the Refugee Forum however remains the same and it is just the date that has been postponed.
We understand the trouble cause to you because of this change. We apologize to you for this sudden change.





Morning panel will look at what is happening in Quebec at the border, how it is impacting vulnerable communities and what we are seeing in Toronto as a result


Explanation of the guidelines involving sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) and their impact on the community

TIME: From 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
VENUE: The Salvation Army Harbour Light
ADDRESS: 160 Jarvis St. Toronto

More information contact Carolina Teves

Flyer Sep 28


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