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CSC Winnipeg, MB Design Lab, October 2019


The mindyourmind team went to Winnipeg, MB to work with newcomer youth through the Canada Service Corps initiative. The goal of the project was to co-create a mental health resource specific to the needs of the Winnipeg community, as identified by the youth. What made this design lab so special was learning what adjusting to life in Canada looks like not only as a newcomer, but also a refugee. From experiencing their first winter season, handling Canadian money, learning a new language, and so many other cultural differences; it was truly inspiring for our team to spend time with this lovely group of people. These young people have deep strength and resiliency as their stories of adapting to life in Canada are not all easy to hear; however, their gratitude and drive to be the best they can be, is amazing.  


mindyourmind, staff from the Winnipeg YMCA and 18 youth from Winnipeg: Abdulrhaman, Ahmed, Akram, Alaa (Aloush), Amar, Asmaa, Asraa, Auner, Bara, Dalaa, Jwana, Majd, Maya, Miguel, Mohammed, Nassouh, Osama and Wisam.


mindyourmind worked with Maraleigh Short, the YMCA Newcomer Youth Wellness Coordinator, to recruit youth who are passionate about mental health and being involved in their community. This group was passionate, energetic and motivated; eager to share their experiences and ideas with us as well as their peers. We used creative activities to brainstorm and took frequent dance and soccer breaks. It was hard to not feel happy with this group!!  Through our time together the youth identified the top issues they face and decided to create a motivational poster series and a newcomer trivia game. When the tools are complete the youth will share them with their community. 


We recognize that mental health programs are not “one size fits all”. We want to provide youth with the opportunity to create a mental health resource that is specifically suited to the newcomers in the Winnipeg area. The challenges that newcomers face are quite sobering. Most of the youth were from Syria with a few from Central/South America and spoke about the challenges they face such as language barriers as well as cultural barriers. They felt as though they were missing many key pieces of information when they moved to Canada and wanted to make the process easier for future newcomers. The mindyourmind process provides the youth with valuable skills and transferable experiences they can utilize in the future.


The group decided to create an informative trivia game for newcomers and motivational posters.


Welcome to Canada game - English 

Welcome to Canada game - French 

Welcome to Canada game - Arabic


Welcome to Canada poster series - English 

Welcome to Canada poster series - French 

Welcome to Canada poster series - Arabic 

Youth Partners

  1. How will this quiz and poster help people?
  2. Favourite thing about Winnipeg?
  3. Favourite food?

Here's how the team answered these questions (missing Miguel, Alaa (Aloush), Auner, and Ahmed)

Abdulrhaman, 16
  1. I hope they learn many good things.
  2. My favourite thing about Winnipeg is government.
  3. My favourite food is shawarma.
Akram, 16
  1. By showing them how good we did through all the hard things we have gone through.
  2. Human rights museum
  3. Shawarma
Ammar, 17
  1. So they would have an idea how we come through all this.
  2. Summer weather 
  3. French fries
Asmaa, 17
  1. We help them so they do not lose their hope and they adapt to a new world. 
  2. Summer and school
  3. Pizza
Asraa, 15
  1. They will feel good.
  2. Building 
  3. Everything
Bara, 18
  1.  So people could have an idea what we have gone through and so they work hard so they would be successful
  2. School, everything
  3. Mahashy
Dalaa, 16
  1. We advise them and let them to reach their dreams
  2. Respect and studying (school)
  3. Pizza (cheese), hamburger and chicken burger.
Jwana, 14
  1. We support them and give them hope. 
  2. Freedom and schools
  3. Mulukhiah, syrian food
Majd, 16
  1. Learn English
  2. Style
  3. Mulukhiah, syrian food
Maya, 18
  1. Don’t lose your hope and don’t retreat from your dreams.
  2. Humanity and peace
  3. French fries, vegetarian
Mohammad, 16
  1. Safety and comfortable 
  2. Snow
  3. Pizza
Nassouh, 16
  1. Learn english
  2. School
  3. Pizza
Osama, 17
  1. Yes I think it will because there are a lot of options to do or talk about.
  2. The people and my soccer team.
  3. Tacos and chicken
Wisam, 14
  1. Learn different languages. Learn different things about Canada. 
  2. My favourite thing is summer because I can play soccer. 
  3. Pizza