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.




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