Walking with uprooted people

Walking with uprooted people

We give students the opportunity to meet newcomers and help them with the various services we offer.   Here are some testimonies of students:

Volunteers and students 2015

Alberto Fernandez B.
I have experience in research, consultancy and advocacy in dialogue and decision making stances on Human Rights of Migrants people, forced displacement, asylum seekers and refugees from the Mesoamerican region. Therefore, I am totally committed with migrants and their vulnerabilities. In this regard, Toronto offers me the opportunity to learn on other stages of migration and migratory fluxes.
At the FCJ Refugee Centre I am supporting, communications, coordinating events, doing research on the region and I am working closed to the people in need of help, moreover I am enjoying with the youth group.

Anyeli Estrada
“I thank FCJ for giving me the opportunity to volunteer in such a rewarding place and for letting me be part of this unique family. As a newcomer myself, I have experienced the difficulties that come with acclimating to a new country. I know how challenging it is to find a job and to meet the requirements in a new job market. Supporting newcomers through the Job Search program is a great experience for me.”

Group of Volunteers and students 2014

volunteers 2014

Xavon Charles
My name is Xavon, I am a summer student here at FCJ Refugee Centre. The time I have spent here in the office has been a wonderful experience for me. The reason being, I have not only enhanced my work experience but I felt I have grown as a person. This is because of FCJ’s unique work environment; it is not stifling like many of the places I have worked before, it gives you room to breathe, room to define yourself within the workplace. I also liked how everyone had lunch together; I think it builds a comradery within the workplace bringing us closer together. While working here, I mainly dealt with the youth, planning youth group activities and co-hosting these activities. It has helped me build my communication skills, problem solving skills, and my ability to co-ordinate within a team. It has been a wonderful experience.

Marijana Tomic

Coming into FCJ, I had made it a point to emphasize my desire to get involved holistically within the organization. Throughout the duration of my stay, the involvement I was presented with exceeded my desires and expectations. I have not only witnessed the real life challenges refugee claimants and newcomers face, given Canada’s unjust refugee and immigration policies, but have also recognized the hard work and determination of the staff and volunteers at FCJ to help those vulnerable to the system overcome such challenges together. The mixture of work I have done and interactions I have had with different individuals has not only contributed to my knowledge but also to my own personal growth. The feeling of inclusiveness and family is at the heart of FCJ and I am grateful to have been given the chance to create the strong bonds and connections with those around me, which I am confident will be lasting.

Laura Armenio
I am currently working towards completing my Honors B.A. in International Development Studies and Anthropology.
Employees and volunteers at FCJ have managed to create a wonderful, lively and friendly environment that motivates me to work at my very best. The staff’s willingness to always provide a dependable helping hand has given me the opportunity to flourish within a very fast-paced and stimulating environment while not being discouraged to ask questions and learn more. I consider myself very lucky to be part of the important work that FCJ does on a daily basis to genuinely support refugees during their difficult transitions. Thank you FCJ Refugee Centre for this incredible chance to be part of something that makes significant differences in the lives of people from around the globe.

Anyeli Esna

Volunteering at FCJ is not just making a better use of your free time or helping others. For me, volunteering at FCJ is being part of a very unique and special “family”; it’s not just helping others, it’s making a difference, it’s being part of a life time experience.
During the journey of volunteering you have the great opportunity to meet remarkable people, not only the ones who make this organization run but the people who come to FCJ in need of being listened, in need of a home but most important in need of hope and a warm welcome.
I have being volunteering through 2014; I have been assisting Kanishka the bookkeeper. She has always been very kind to me and has been teaching me how interesting and difficult accounting can be. One of the projects I participated in was the creation of spread sheets where information and data is recalled continuously. I also learned that multitasking is a very important skill because you have the opportunity to do and assist in every area that requires your help. In general, volunteering at FCJ has been one of the best experiences I have ever had and I hope I can continue giving something of me for the well being of others.


Daniel Hailemariam.

(MSW student at University of Toronto, Factor—Inwentash Faculty of Social Work)

I did my second year practicum placement at FCJ refugee center and the skills I gained at the center were rewarding. During the eight months period that I worked at the refugee center, I was able to appreciate FCJ refugee center for its grass roots organization and strong stand on social Justice for immigrants and refugees.

I was able to participate in various activities of the organization ranging from individual case management to organizing and volunteering in nationwide events. As part of my learning process, I was also able to appreciate the overwhelming challenges new comers to Canada face when they struggle to formalize their immigration status in Canada. Working with non status clients from various cultural backgrounds and vulnerabilities has also given me the opportunity to further develop my culturally comeptent social work assessment and intervention skills, for which I remain grateful.


Rose Nosakhare I am a second year student at Seneca College in the Social Service Worker program and I specialize in working with immigrant and refugees. I became involved with FCJ Refugee Centre because, as a refugee myself, I was inspired by the work that different organizations did to help me and my children. Throughout my time at FCJ I have had the opportunity to participate in various workshops, funding proposals and complete a wide variety of application forms for immigration purposes. During my time at this placement I have treated everyone with dignity and have empowered clients to have access to the resources they need.


Sarah List Janel Coe

Social Service Worker – Immigrants and Refugees (SSW-IR), Seneca College

I feel so incredibly lucky to have ended up in the best possible SSW-IR placement, working with staff, volunteers, students and clients who inspire me every day. I have learned so much about how the immigration and refugee determination systems affect the members of our community both in daily life and in the long-term. Whether through assisting and advocating for individuals or by engaging in popular education to mobilize for change, I am proud of my work because every single day I work towards making Canada a safer, more welcoming, and permanent home for uprooted people.

Janel Coe

Hi everyone! I am a second year student at Seneca College in the Social Service Worker program specializing in Immigrants and Refugees. I became involved with FCJ Refugee Centre because I was inspired by the work and advocacy the organization does on behalf of those with precarious status. Throughout my time at FCJ I have been fortunate enough to have been able to participate in various activities. Two of the most meaningful projects I have been a part of were writing letters for Humanitarian and Compassionate applications to advocate for refugees, and participating in the “Diversity and Open Spaces” workshop to promote the rights of LGBTQ clients.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *