Techfugees took its first steps in North America in Toronto in October 2019. Canada is one of the world's leading immigration countries. 28 100 refugees have been resettled in Canada according to the UNHCR in 2018 and 18 000 refugees accessed Canadian citizenship.
Techfugees Canada is focussing mainly on how technology can foster access to affordable housing to newcomers in Toronto. Read more about their work and the events they’ve organized here.
Techfugees Toronto is launching The Housing Network Pilot Project this summer in collaboration with the Toronto-based refugee settlement organization, Romero House. Through this project,
How can we mobilize tech to strengthen those in need? Civic Tech MTL is excited to invite you to “Empowering Refugees and Newcomers with Tech”, a four-part event series in collaboration with Welcome Collective, The Refugee Centre, and Techfugees Toronto.
A conversation on current barriers that refugees during their GTA housing journey & an exploration of how tech could make
Our volunteer team is publishing regular reports on tech and forced migration. You can find all their reports on our Data Hub, to understand challenges faced by newcomers in Canada.
Olivia is a design researcher and strategist who is currently working on a digital incubation team within financial services. This means Olivia spends a lot of her time talking to people about their human and digital relationships and thinking and conceptualizing what our future will and should look like. Alongside design and research, Olivia is also very passionate about helping newcomers along their path to resettlement in Canada and has worked at Canadian Council for Refugees as a youth ambassador and volunteered for other community settlement initiatives in Quebec.
Hiba is a Project Manager with a focus on marketing and technology implementation. While studying a double major in Linguistics and Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, she conducted socio-linguistic research on local immigrant communities in the Greater Toronto Area, specifically focussing on the Kurdish and Romanian communities. Since graduating, Hiba’s involvement in the nonprofit space continued through her work organizing enhanced Canadian citizenship ceremonies and working on digital platforms to help immigrants and new citizens. As an immigrant herself, born in Kurdistan, Iraq and raised in Switzerland, Hiba is happy to help those who choose to make Canada their new home. Her passions include creating inclusive spaces, supporting local entrepreneurs, and challenging herself creatively. At Techfugees, Hiba manages social media communications and promotion campaigns, with an aim to expand the Toronto chapter’s community.
Khujista is a social policy researcher, born in Bangladesh, but raised in India and Thailand. Since obtaining an MA in human rights and democratization, with a focus on migration in the Asia-Pacific region, she has worked to examine labour migration policies and migrant worker’s rights at the International Organization for Migration in Bangkok, Thailand. While in Canada, she completed a BA in Human Rights from Carleton University, Ottawa. She is a research assistant at the Conflict and Resilience Research Institute Canada and has worked mostly in research-based roles focusing on the fourth industrial revolution, indigenous populations, employment, and labour standards. With a background in global migration, human rights, and research, Khujista is thrilled to contribute her skills at Techfugees Canada as a design researcher!
Sushani Singh, Design Researcher
Sushani is a UX Researcher, born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario. She proudly identifies as an Indo-Caribbean woman with roots in Guyana. She currently works as a Senior Design Researcher at Loblaw Digital. Her focus within user research is ensuring all humans are included in the design process, especially those that have been historically excluded from product development. Prior to working in UX, Sushani studied literature with a focus on the South Asian diaspora in order to understand how our [his]stories are transmuted over time across different mediums. At Techfugees, she applies her critical research and storytelling skills to ensure the inclusion of all users in the design process.
Emily McRae, Housing Lead
Emily Macrae is a policy professional who first learned about Techfugees through her role as a co-organizer with Civic Tech Toronto. As a writer and organizer, she combines policy analysis with lived experience to build accessible digital and urban environments. She’s energized to use her knowledge of urban planning and skills with storytelling to support the Housing Network Pilot.
Mounir Nasri is a social entrepreneur and advisor in the field of community development. He built several social impact projects in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq prior to his arrival to Canada under the private sponsorship program for Syrian refugees. Mounir has been working in newcomer inclusion and settlement space in Toronto for the past five years, where he led a number entrepreneurship, employment, and skills building programs for new Canadians, and he is currently working with Toronto’s Local Immigration Partnership where he leads and coordinates cross-sectoral innovative collaborations and programs to build and sustain welcoming and inclusive communities for new Canadians. Mounir holds a Master of Management in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MMIE) from Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, where he also earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with distinction in Global Development Studies after studying Computer Science at Haigazian University in Lebanon. Mounir sits on the Programming Committee at The Toronto Ward Museum and he is one of the former Young Advisors for 6 Degrees, the global forum for inclusion and a project of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
Cansu Ekmekcioglu , Research
Cansu Ekmekcioglu is a technology researcher and consultant who is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in information science at University of Toronto. With a background in political science and digital media, she leverages her expertise and prior experience to develop tools to improve the lives of underrepresented and non-dominant groups, including refugee and asylum-seeking communities, and those who provide support for them. Her current work looks at the use of information and digital technologies in humanitarian and refugee settlement contexts in Canada, Turkey, the MENA, and East Africa. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: https://cansued.github.io/
Omar is a computer scientist by training, but he soon discovered that he is more of a people’s person than machines. He ventured into the entrepreneurial space by launching a social enterprise in STEM education and workforce development that provided affordable STEM programs and work-integrated learning opportunities for different communities including the underserved communities in the Middle East. Among his efforts, he organized the first ever robotics competition for refugee youth. Omar moved to Canada in 2019 and since then he has been working in the inclusive economic/workforce development space. Omar is impact-driven and a natural connector of people, ideas, and efforts. He used to be a competitive rower through which he learned to value perseverance and teamwork. When he is not working, he spends his time volunteering for causes that are dear to his heart or exploring the Canadian wilderness.
Hibo is a student at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, currently studying Knowledge and Information Management. She is the daughter of refugees who came to Canada to flee from the civil war in Somalia in the late 1980s to early 90s. She has obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Health and Disease and Biomedical Toxicology. An avid volunteer, Hibo has dedicated herself to multiple organizations ranging from Find Your Path, a student non - profit aimed at encouraging black and first generation students to attend post secondary studies to the Agincourt Community Services Association where she acts as a food bank volunteer. She is incredibly excited to use her skills to advocate on behalf of refugees through data storytelling.