LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We Acknowledge the Land and many First Nations, Métis and Inuit people who have called this area home since time immemorial. FOCAS Team acknowledges that we are located on the traditional lands of Treaty 6 Territory. Treaty 6 covers the traditional territories of numerous western Canadian First Nations such as the Cree, Saulteaux (So-toe) ,Saulteaux (So-toe), Blackfoot, Métis, Dene(De-nay) and Nekota Sioux (Sue)

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We Acknowledge the Land and many First Nations, Métis and Inuit people who have called this area home since time immemorial. FOCAS Team acknowledges that we are located on the traditional lands of Treaty 6 Territory. Treaty 6 covers the traditional territories of numerous western Canadian First Nations such as the Cree, Saulteaux (So-toe) ,Saulteaux (So-toe), Blackfoot, Métis, Dene(De-nay) and Nekota Sioux (Sue)

WHO WE ARE

Our stories starts with name Oromia. Oromia is an epicenter in Ethiopia where almost all nations and nationalities co-existed in peace and harmony for many centuries. The headquarter of African Union and the World Economic Forum offices are found in this region. This co-existence may be possible because of the Oromo culture of guddifacha (adoption) and Mogaafacha(naturalization) of non Oromos. This culture is similar to what we are now using in the western world as naturalization and bestowing citizenship to immigrants and refugees. In memory and appreciation of that great culture of multiculturalism and mutual coexistence, we named our organization the Foundation for Oromian Culture, Education and Art Services (FOCAS).

The People We Serve

Before They Came to Canada
Africa and the Middle East, where many of our clients come from, are war-ravaged regions. Many of our community members have experienced so much violence, destruction, and calamities. Many of our clients suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Furthermore, most of our community members came to Canada from refugee camps after persistent mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. Many of them have resettled to urban centres in Canada, but they lived in rural regions in their homelands. The changes that accompany this transition is often jarring. We observe that many of our community members would benefit from traditional ways of healing the traumas of migration and displacement; adult literacy programs that are culturally sensitive; and language classes directed by their ethnolinguistic community; empowering working culture, economic and family management, computer and financial literacies, cross-cultural awareness, etc.

Cultural Aspect

Our community is proud of having a diverse culture and traditions that have been developed and preserved for many centuries. We believe some elements of this culture can contribute immensely to Albertan and Canadian multiculturalism. While our community likes to learn, adapt, and safeguard the existing culture of Alberta, we also look forward to having some opportunities that can accommodate the heritage and traditions we brought with us. FOCAS, during non-Covid restriction, was able to offer forums and opportunities for diverse communities to meet and greet each other.
We are continuing to look for opportunities to provide information about the culture of the communities we serve to interact with all of Alberta and Canadian culture as a whole. The indigenous community and other ethnic groups that make up the Canadian way of life are important to teach newcomers about what Canada is about. Many of the concepts here are also common to the Oromo peoples and this also creates another connection for us all.

Youth Education

We have a lot of accompanied and unaccompanied immigrant youth in our community. Most of them fled their homeland before having the chance to finish high school, while some others were amid their college and university studies before fleeing into exile. Financial stress, peer pressure, and lack of credential recognition are some of the reasons highlighted by our youth to illustrate why they struggle to continue their formal education in Canada. Consequently, many are destined to work at low paying jobs and some may be driven into the informal economy.
FOCAS want to tackle these problems by providing proven support to help them better integrate, so that they have a fair chance of upward mobility.

Family Matter

Societies may take distinct approaches to family management and care. It takes great effort and time to adapt for many immigrants to adapt and integrate into the Canadian ways of life, which can frustrate many immigrant families in particular. Starting from child discipline, women and children’s rights to tolerance to the freedom of sexual orientations and religious diversity. They need support and education to help them adapt to their new country.

Adaptation Integration

A significant portion of our clients have challenges in terms of easily adapting to Canadian ways of life, adaptation to new culture, sexual orientations, and religious tolerance. We believe that research needs to be conducted to explore these issues in greater depth. It is our hope to carry out such a research project by centering the following issues: what challenges do Oromo/East African refugee youths face in pursuing/continuing their formal education; to what extent do refugee newcomers experience cultural shock up on arrival and resettlement to Canada; what is the impact of the transitional period on the mental health of refugee newcomers; and how satisfied are refugee newcomers with their lives in Canada and their economic success. The new immigrant community has much to offer Canada as well. However, many regular Canadians may still not have the opportunity to interact with or meet newcomers to know much about the value of their experiences and knowledge. Newcomers often hold positions or employment in limited areas and it takes time to obtain recognition in their fields of study and education.

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