M-I-C logo
meet the team
We are a group of immigrant and refugee youth called the Fresh Voices Youth Advisory Team. We first met through the summer of 2011. Guided by youth workers, the Vancouver Foundation and B.C.’s representative for children and youth, we examined the strengths and barriers we face in fulfilling our dreams in Canada.

These conversations shaped the themes and discussions at the Fresh Voices from Long Journeys Summit in 2011.

Fresh Voices continues as an initiative to engage immigrant and refugee youth from across the province in dialogue and action. The ultimate goal is to improve the policies and practices that affect immigrant and refugee youths’ sense of belonging in British Columbia and Canada as a whole.

meeting photo-WEB
Dina Ganan Pérez
Dina comes from Colombia and is currently in grade 12. When she came to Canada Dina lived in Montreal for three years. After that, Dina and her family moved to Vancouver to learn English and expand their opportunities for education and employment. She loves Canada. She feels it is a beautiful country and living here makes her feel happy because it gives her the opportunity to help her loved ones and develop herself as a professional.

Diego Cardona Ospina
Diego arrived in Canada in 2005 with his mom and sister. He was a refugee victim of Colombia’s armed conflict and forced displacement by illegal groups. Diego is 16 years old and is currently attending Sir Winston Churchill Secondary. He is a graduate of the Multicultural Youth Circle Program, a current member of the Action Team, and part of the Youth Philanthropy Council of Vancouver Foundation.In 2011 Diego was the co-founder of a youth-led program call Latin Diversity which provides newcomer Latin American youth with a safe learning space in their integration process. He currently spends a lot of his time doing work around issues such as youth engagement, immigrant and refugee youth inclusion and social inequality.

Abdullah Al-Humaimidi
Abdullah comes originally from Iraq but lived in Dubai-UAE for several years before coming to British Columbia, Canada. He is 18 years old and enjoys playing tennis and most sports. Abdullah really loves technology and hopes that his future career will be close to the things he enjoys the most.

Bakir Al-Humaimidi
Bakir Al-Humaimidi is 16 years old and is currently attending Kwantlen Park Secondary School. Bakir likes to play many sports such as tennis. When Bakir was eight he loved playing with robotic toys which inspired him to decide that his future job will be connected to mechanical and electronic engineering or technology.

Tiba Al-Humaimidi
Tiba Alhumaimidi is 15 years old. She was born in Iraq, but lived in Dubai – UAE for years before moving to Canada at the age of 13. She currently lives in Surrey and likes playing sports and chatting with her friends.

Saad Al-Samarrai
Saad is 15 years old and is currently attending Kwantlen Park Secondary in Surrey. He loves playing and watching soccer. He was born in Iraq but left in 2002 to live in Dubai until coming to Canada in 2008. Saad has suffered from discrimination in school and that is why he joined the Youth Advisory Team where he helped organize the Summit and the mini-dialogues.

Marlio Herrera Lira
Marlio comes from Veracruz, Mexico. Marlio is 16 years old and is studying in L.A. Matheson Secondary School in Surrey. He has been in Canada for about three years. Marlio likes trying new things and enjoys doing a little bit of everything. He likes to help people, working for human rights, global issues and volunteering in his school and community.

Nkechi Okonta
Nkechi graduated from New Westminster Secondary School. Nkechi is 19 years old and is originally from Nigeria. She has dark complexion and is courageous, optimistic and likes meeting new people.

Pablo Muñoz
Pablo is a Colombian born artist living and working in Vancouver. He moved to Canada when he was 11 years old and is very committed to working with his community. His work stretches from acting, poetry, dancing, and visual arts. Pablo started painting and writing at a very early age, taking his inspiration from his hometown’s landscapes and the struggles of immigrants and Latin American people. He is currently going to school and is involved in several community art projects, mostly with immigrant youth. Throughout all of his work he keeps the idea that art is not a tool for social change but a living entity within it.

Mustafa Almashhadni
Mustafa came originally from Iraq but lived in Syria for several years before coming to Canada. He is 14 years old and enjoys playing soccer and wrestling, among other sports. He attends Guildford Park Secondary School in Surrey. He is happy with his mother’s decision to come to Canada, even though he misses his friends and the rest of his family, because he does not feel that Iraq is safe for them at the moment.

Afeef Ahamed Hifzur Rahuman
Afeef was born in Puttalam, Sri Lanka. He moved to Canada when he was 15 years old with his family. Afeef graduated from high school last year and his future goal is to be a social worker; especially after being involved with the Youth Advisory Team where he has developed skills in facilitation and event organization.

Catherine Yorgoro
Catherine was born in Nigeria before relocating to Benin. In 2009 she immigrated to Canada with her family where she attended and graduated from Holy Cross Regional High School. She is currently a First Year General Studies student at Douglas College. Catherine is an easy going, fun loving and energetic individual. She is funny, hardworking, a team player, and spontaneous but also disciplined in every sense.

Nay Bu Taw
Nay Bu Taw came to Canada in 2006, with her mother and five younger siblings, as Karen refugees from Thailand refugee camps. Most of her early life was spent in refugee camps. The first citizenship she held was Canadian and she is proud of it. She joins YAT to share and learn from youth from different cultures and backgrounds. Nay Bu Taw is inspired by her mother because she is a very strong and caring woman. She also taught Nay Bu Taw to fight for her life and future. Nay Bu Taw loves volunteering, hanging out with friends and watching movies. Nay Bu Taw is currently attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey.

Tanvi Bhatia
Tanvi was born in India but moved to Canada when she was two years old. She is currently attending Burnaby South Secondary School and trying to learn both the inside and outside of school, while actively striving to read every exceptional piece of literature out there — and maybe one day write books herself.

About video produced by ReelYouth.ca

M-I-C logo