Publication Date

2002

Abstract

This paper presents the findings of a case study of Somali youth in the Greater Toronto Area. The purpose of the study was to explore the settlement challenges and concerns faced by immigrant and refugee Somali youth to help them meet their needs and assist them to integrate in a new culture while maintaining their cultural identities and strengthening their family structure and support. The major research tool used in gathering data was the focus group. There were six focus groups. Two were the sample pilot groups that helped me in devising the way to recruit the participants and designed focus group discussion questions. The other four- focus groups which had equal gender representation, and youth in the 16 to 24 age groups were the actual participants and data collected from these focus groups was analyzed and presented as a finding. An intensive review of the literature proved there is no real attention being paid to Somali youth, but the literature was very helpful in identifying the needs of Somali youth, although it is from the perspective of the Somali adults as opposed to Somali youth, who are going through tremendous challenges in their attempts to integrate and settle into Canadian society. The focus group discussions have provided the most insightful findings of this research, as the participants themselves were able to explain their experiences and issues from a very personal perspective, racial discrimination and systematic barriers at the forefront of their concerns.

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