by Cheryl Jackson Friday March 9, 2012

We hear a lot about what it's like for adults who move to Canada...the difficulties finding work or going back to school to upgrade training, the poverty, the language barriers.  We don't often get to hear from the kids. What's it like for them to leave their family, their friends, their life at home and start fresh in a new country?

My New Home is a documentary that shows us what the kids go through. It follows three kids who move to Britain - Imran comes from Afghanistan, Altynay from Kyrgyzstan and Marshal from Zimbabwe.

Everything is so different, as you can imagine. Imran says his new home has no goats, Altynay misses her grandmother, and Marshal meets his little sister for the first time. They have to adapt to new homes, new families and friends, new weather, new schools, new everything. Imran says there's no space to play and misses his friends in the village, Altynay becomes very quiet, Marshal regresses and prefers to play with his younger sister and watch cartoons.

You can watch My New Home online.  Then, you can see them five years later in the sequel, which is airing on TVO Sunday at 8pm.  That film is also available online.

The series is filmed in Britain, but the issues would be similar here. After the first episode aired, we invited some settlement experts in to talk to us about the challenges faced by immigrant children. Here's that discussion.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about the documentary series and about our discussion. What do you think children need most when they move to a new country? What were the challenges for you and your children?