In PCJ362H1S: Service Learning, students are given a learning placement in the GTA in partnership with local, national, or international not-for-profits or governmental organizations. Students work in teams of 2-7 students, and help partner organizations solve important problems and further their missions, giving students the opportunity to apply their learning from PCJ to the “real world.” 

Until next week, we will be highlighting the projects students are working on with their organizations and sharing their experiences here on our Student Blog! Read last week’s feature here.

Matthew House

Since 1998, Matthew House has provided refugees and asylum seekers with housing, a resource for job opportunities, transitional support, and legal education as they prepare for their hearings at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. The Refugee Hearing Preparation Program helps thousands of refugees every year to understand what questions they will be asked, how their body language matters, and how to maneuver the technology used during the proceedings. The benefits of this program have kept it in high demand and, with a grant from the Law Foundation, Matthew House is now expanding nationally.

Our project is centred around this growth and creating community partnerships and legal sponsorships to ensure refugees across the country have a place to call home. We hope our work contributes to a growing awareness of the complexities of the legal system and the nuances of the migrant experience. On April 5th at 9 am, we invite everyone who is interested in gaining a broader understanding of Matthew House’s work to join us at Wake Up for Refugee Rights Day. Register here to secure your spot!

Ruth Masuka, Charlotte Sullivan, Shreya Vohra

Rainbow Railroad

Group members Neha Dhaliwal, Hailey Marleau, and Isabelle Buchanan

Rainbow Railroad’s mission is to provide aid to LGBTQI+ peoples who are facing persecution in their homecountry. The organization helps refugees seek asylum with pre-travel, travel, and post-travel support. We are working on the flagship Emergency Travel Support (ETS) program, which moves persecuted LGBTQI+ people from their unsafe origin country to a safe destination country. We are developing a dashboard that provides the Rainbow Railroad team with the updated information about transit countries that they need in order to make decisions about client resettlement. We have been compiling research on various information such as the country’s cost of living, LGBTQI+ supports available, and COVID-19 status to assist caseworkers in making quick and effective resettlement choices for clients.

We hope that our work will help mitigate the growing refugee crisis and persecution of LGBTQI+ people worldwide by providing a valuable resource to speed up the evaluation and resettlement process, allowing Rainbow Railroad to assist more people.

Hailey Marleau, Isabelle Buchanan, Neha Dhaliwal

Partners in Health

Group members Astrid Ling, Monica Yao and Sarina Wong

Partners in Health (PIH) is a global health organization that is pursuing social justice by bringing quality health care to vulnerable communities around the world. For PIH, an understanding of history and the structural forces that have shaped inequality over many decades or more – sometimes called ‘structural violence’ – is central to understanding how to work in pragmatic solidarity with communities and governments.

PIH is currently collaborating with the local Ministry of Health to build the Maternal Center of Excellence in Sierra Leone, where a woman’s lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth is 1 in 20. Our team is producing a video that explores Sierra Leone’s maternal mortality rate through its history of exploitation and conflict. We hope to convey that weak health systems and poor health outcomes are borne out of historical and ongoing structural injustices.

Sarina Wong, Monica Yao, Astrid Ling