High school is tough enough — especially in a new country, with a new language and social customs. These vulnerabilities can sometimes put teen refugees and immigrants on the wrong path. The Diversity, Community, & Indigenous Relations Section and the Vancouver School Board, with funding from the Vancouver Police Foundation, developed a program to help kids navigate through this difficult transition.
The program focuses on educating and creating awareness around law enforcement through peer and police mentorship to prevent the risk of gang recruitment or criminal involvement, or kids falling victim to bullying or harassment.
In sharing their experiences with other youth like themselves, newcomers and refugee youth are given a chance to form positive relationships with police and peers in the program, and to develop a sense of identity and belonging.
The program unites youth through fun and engaging experiences that promote social justice, healthy lifestyles, positive issues of identity, integration and adaptation, along with preventing bullying and violence. The NewKids Program is more than just a program for these youth: it is a life-changing experience.