Photograph of Aya

(921 families and singles) individuals were helped through our Hostel Services where they temporarily stayed until they secured permanent accommodation
(2,331 cases) government-sponsored refugees received intensive case management services through COSTI’s Resettlement and Client Support Services in 2019/20

Aya is originally from Syria but immigrated to Canada from China at the beginning of 2021. Today she is a university student studying sociology, a long-time passion. When she looks back on her first year in Canada, her early days participating in COSTI’s Youth Change Makers program stands out.

“For eight weeks, I had the chance to connect with other youth on topics that matter to me,” she says. “We even received an arts kit and met virtually to use the materials to creatively display our life goals. We did vision boards and talked about social justice.”

COSTI’s Youth Change Maker Program is designed for youth between 15-24 and includes four virtual meetings and in-person field trips, along with the opportunity to participate in a camp and volunteer project.

Aya says this program was the perfect fit for her because of her passion to help others. “I am very committed to being an advocate for equality, and protecting people from domestic abuse and gender-based violence,” she says. “This program was a chance to talk to other youth from many different backgrounds about issues that we care about. COSTI was my first interaction in Canada and I was immediately impressed.”