Visit to ISSofBC
Today (Wednesday 3rd) I was able to meet with ISSofBC Director Chris Friesen. As part of my visit, Chris gave me an extensive tour of the Welcome Centre before we then sat and talked further about migrant and refugee integration in Canada. It is hard to describe just how impressive the building is - it is an ‘intentional build’ meaning that everything is done from the perspective of what is most helpful and needed for those who have just arrived - this includes the maximisation of light because of the dark place that people have been in, door numbers that includes words such as ‘hope’, ‘resilience’, ‘empathy’, ‘spirit’ and ‘courage’, carefully planned play areas for the children, wonderful apartments, counselling services, views that allow people to see where they are in the city (to help with orientation), and family services,- this place-based design is incredible and understandably has caught the interest of numerous countries.
I’m so grateful to Chris for sharing his extensive knowledge and experience - it has given me so much food for thought!