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Post by Hawkeye3 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:44 pm

Hello all,
In Ottawa, we are receiving many refugees. Putting myself in the shoes of a refugee, if I had just left a refugee camp and travelled half way across the world to have a stranger (who doesn't speak Arabic) in a red shirt show up and say "hey, let me take your kid camping!"... I probably would not react too well to that. We need a good way to engage these new Canadians.

Given the rules we have to onboarding new Scouters (especially the PRC - how do you PRC a refugee? how do you train a refugee who likely doesn't speak English or French), does anyone have any good ideas on how to practically approach both the youth and elders in this community to effectively engage them in Scouting?

My Group is in an area receiving many new families and I am trying to figure out how to engage them. For the record, I don't speak Arabic nor do any of the Scouters in my group. There are FEW in our area who do.

Rick Gruchy
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Re: Refugees

Post by Rick Gruchy » Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:23 pm

Interesting question. There is some screening completed by Immigration prior to being accepted as a refugee, however there are going to be some obvious gaps in that screening. That said, it is possible to get a PRC completed on any resident of Canada but all it will tell you is that they have not been convicted of an offence in their time in Canada. This is all any of our PRCs tell us. So, I think that if the new arrival is able to get you a PRC, bring them in. That said, it would be a good idea to consult with your CED on this. I am not sure when the next meeting of all the DCCs - Safe Scouting will be, but I will try to bring this question up at that forum.

Regarding how to engage them, I think you might try approaching the Immigrant Settlement Association in your area and consult with them regarding how best to connect with the families. If the families are being sponsored by community groups it might be reasonable to connect with the sponsor groups on how best to reach out to the families.

The good news is that Scouting and Guiding have a long history in Syria so it my not be completely from out in left field to "have a stranger (who doesn't speak Arabic) in a red shirt show up and say "hey, let me take your kid camping!" :lol: I think your biggest challenge will be language. To that end, a worse case scenario for you might be to hire an Arabic interrupter to assist you when you make your pitch. It shouldn't be hard to locate on in Ottawa.

Fantastic that you are going to give this a shot and good luck.

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Re: Refugees

Post by SteveMatheson » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:10 pm

Our priority should be in translating the Code of Conduct (so parents can be involved in any supporting role) and a (voice over?) translation of the youth safety video (required for parents to attend an overnight event). Then we can have some parental involvement (halal cooking at camp, for example).
Steve Matheson
Group Commissioner, 3rd Eastern Passage
Nova Scotia

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