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Trek and Talk for Newcomers

May 8 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
An event tailored towards providing a safe and welcoming space for refugee women to come together and focus on health and wellness.

Online Event:

Refugee womxn are found to be at greater risk for social isolation and many suffer from the layered discriminatory effects of their gender, race, and religion in Canadian society. Establishing a new home here is not only limited to finding a house, a school, or a job. Making a place a home is also about creating community and feeling like you belong. The goal of this project is to provide a safer and welcoming space for newly arrived refugee womxn to engage with each other and others through a holistic wellness approach that merges the benefits of mental and physical health. For this year’s Burnaby Festival of Learning, our one-day event is aimed at international students and Burnaby community members who identify as refugee womxn. Together, we will explore green spaces in Burnaby through movement and engage in rich discussion afterwards while enjoying food sourced from local restaurants.

The event will be divided into 2 parts:

Part 1 (Walk/Run/Enjoy) – Anytime before 2pm

  • Stress manifests in our bodies in many forms. To help release some of this embodied stress, we invite participants to engage in movement and enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces. Take an hour to breathe and relax; head outside for a hike, stroll, or even a run!
  • Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be able to explore as a group, but we will be sharing a detailed resource guide* containing recommendations.

Part 2 (Online Discussion + Food) – 2pm – 3pm

  • Join us online on May 8th for a space of sharing, discussion, and community building.
  • We ask participants to register ahead of time to help us ensure a safer and welcoming online space for us all. Topics will be shared in the resource guide*.
  • Since we can’t meet in person, we will be sending all participants a food voucher for a delivery service prior to the event – place an order and support a local restaurant!

*The detailed resources guide and food voucher will be emailed to all registered participants.


Naima Osman: Currently, I am a student at Simon Fraser University, completing my MSc in the Faculty of Health Sciences. My research revolves around the health experiences of Somali refugees living in protracted refugee camps. Prior to my academic career, I worked as a settlement worker where I helped newly arrived immigrants and refugees access and navigate community structures in BC.

Tsion Gebremedhen: I am a Master of Public Health (MPH) student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University (SFU). I currently work with diverse African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) communities across BC on various research projects which aim to empower and build capacity for folks who identify as ACB, as well as encourage meaningful research engagement.