Climate Skills & Community Building Fellowship

Program Overview:

In the bustling heart of Toronto lies a unique challenge: how can immigrant and newcomer youth truly connect with their environment and community, especially when the pressing issue of climate change looms large?

As Canada’s demographic landscape shifts, international students and newcomer youth face hurdles in accessing essential resources, including climate education, upon arrival. This disconnect not only impedes their ability to engage with environmental issues but also affects their sense of belonging and empowerment. Taking climate action is often overwhelming in and of itself – but without access to social networks or an understanding of the Canadian context, climate change can feel insurmountable. 

The BTD Climate Skills and Community Building Fellowship serves to empower newcomer youth to become agents of change. Through engaging climate education modules, biweekly study circles, and immersive climate emotion circles, participants embark on a transformative journey. Beyond learning about climate change, they find a sense of community—a space where shared experiences and emotions are acknowledged and embraced. This sense of belonging equips them with practical skills to thrive in their new environment and pursue meaningful employment.

Join us in creating a more sustainable and just future where everyone has the tools, emotional resilience, and community to take climate action. 

How We Do It:

The Climate Skills and Community Building Fellowship will engage international students and immigrant youth (aged 18 to 30) located in Downtown Toronto in an open online course on climate change and building resilience to take local climate action. The online course focuses on providing newcomers with the necessary knowledge and skills they need to understand and respond to challenges posed by climate change during their time in Canada. 

The participants will go through five modules over four months (March – June) exploring different ways in which climate change affects human systems and discovering alternative solutions for the crisis. Every three weeks, the youths will meet for in-person study groups (climate cafés) and discuss the topics they have learned in a given module, as well as share any additional knowledge or experiences. These climate cafés will act as a space for the exploration of thoughts, feelings and experiences on climate change where participants can safely share emotional responses and reactions related to the climate and environmental emergency. There will also be optional online study groups happening every week throughout the course to support the youths in their learning process.


At the end of the program, the participants will have the opportunity to develop and present their climate initiatives/projects. Break The Divide will support participants in developing and launching their climate action projects.

Program Highlights

  • Calling for all interested international students & newcomer youth (ages 18 to 30) in Downtown Toronto (and GTA) to learn more about climate and take climate action with us!
  • The online course will explore the theme of alternative systems to create an eco-friendly society and cover:
    1. Key climate concepts & rationale for change
    2. Cooperative and community forms of land ownership
    3. Employment, climate & technology
    4. Democratic and cooperative financial systems
    5. How to foster systematic change as individuals and as a collective
  • Through our established dialogue framework that encourages young people to share and build an understanding of diverse knowledge perspectives and foster empathy for one another, the program will:
    • Nurture a sense of belonging in Canada;
    • Build a sense of community through sharing space with youth who hold similar lived experiences;
    • Empower participants to address climate-related issues collaboratively. 
  • Participants will go through 5 modules of learning about climate together with Break The Divide.
  • Participants meet every 3 weeks in an in-person study session (climate café) in Downtown Toronto to connect, talk about their emotions, and discuss the learned material. 
  • The program requires a 2-hour per week commitment from our participating youth. 
  • The program equips participants with the necessary knowledge & skills they need to build emotional resilience to respond to challenges posed by the climate crisis, as well as take appropriate climate action in their communities, striving for change.
  • Break The Divide will issue completion certificates/letters of recommendation to all active participants at the end of the program.

Our Program Timeline

Our goal with the Climate Skills & Community Building Fellowship program is to equip international youth with useful knowledge and skills necessary to combat the climate crisis in Canada.

  • Learning about the key concepts explored in the program
  • Discussing the impacts of climate change on Canada & the world
  • Climate café 1
  • Examines solutions that involve common, cooperative and community forms of land ownership and how this relates to systemic change.
  • Climate café 2
  • Examines precarious employment, the effects of technology and the digital or third industrial revolution on employment, and explores some of the diverse innovations (place-based and digital) being forged to address the growing precariousness of livelihoods.
  • Climate café 3
  • Exploring how democratic and cooperative ideas form the basis for financial systems and forms of currency that serve the common good and local economic well-being.
  • Climate café 4
  • A glimpse of how all this fits together and an opportunity to contribute to an overall synthesis of how these ideas and practices can generate a transition to a new paradigm.
  • Climate café 5
  • Action Projects
  • Team Building Trip
  • Completion Certificates from Break The Divide

Why You Should Join:

  • Skill- and knowledge-building about increasingly relevant topics – become an expert in the emerging climate sphere & broaden your knowledge
  • Community & friendship building – meet new friends who are going through the same thing as you!
  • Networking & improving your resume
  • Completion certificates from Break The Divide
  • Lots of fun!

OR…

Reach Out to Aria to Learn More

Program Manager – Climate Emotions Programprograms@breakthedivide.net(437) 988-6109

If you’re interested in learning more about the Climate Emotions Program or would like to apply, attend Aria’s officer hours by clicking this link or email her at programs@breakthedivide.net.