Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations Cultural Exchange & Support Initiative
NMC-CESI, an educational and humanitarian initiative, was founded by students and faculty at the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, in April 2016. Our mission is to empower Syrian newcomer youth by facilitating language acquisition, supporting educational pursuits, and aiding in their settlement process.
Our Unique Approach:
NMC-CESI conducts weekly workshops based on a unique "exchange" principle. UofT students learn Arabic from Syrian newcomers, while newcomers learn English from UofT students through tailored worksheets focusing on Canadian society. With a dedicated team of over 200 volunteers, we extend our assistance across Toronto, helping sponsors and newcomers communicate and navigate essential tasks for a smoother transition to life in Canada.
At NMC-CESI, our educational mission centers around creating a positive learning environment. We provide newcomer youth and students with opportunities to develop individually, enhance language skills, and exchange cultural knowledge and history. We aspire to offer not only educational workshops but also scholarships and support networks to help newcomer youth continue their studies and adapt positively to their new lives in Toronto.
By fostering connections between diverse communities and facilitating the exchange of cultures and experiences, our group actively combats Islamophobia, homophobia, and all forms of racism. We replace negativity with genuine connections, open dialogue, and a sense of cultural understanding and belonging.