Eritrean Youth Collective

Summary of organization/program

Established in 2006, the Eritrean Youth Collective (EYC) exists to provide increased communication and collaboration among different segments of the Eritrean community in Toronto with the aim of facilitating dialogue around pertinent issues affecting youth today. We offer programming that help to enhance formal educational learning, examine cultural norms through arts and opportunities to develop hands on skills for Eritrean youth. We engage with youth via social media and regular bi-weekly e-mail newsletter known as Opps & Updates to provide opportunities for learning, employment and promote events in the community, especially those by youth-led organizations.

We strive to be a resource to our youth and the broader Eritrean community of Toronto, to create a vibrant and supportive community.

Contact information

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 703 Bloor St. W Toronto, ON M6G 1L5


Geographic region

  • Local


  • Youth

History/Background Information

not provided

Dominant Media Forms

video production


  • To create safe spaces for youth to convene and explore
  • To connect resources to community need
  • To provide innovative opportunities for youth to spearhead and participate in program design
  • To connect with like-minded mentors in the community to support goals
  • To support creative expression through various programs and initiatives
  • To explore cultural heritage in meaningful ways to strengthen pride and identity
  • To galvanize youth around pertinent issues to create positive change, and provide capacity-building opportunities to engage in community affairs and stakeholders

Statement of Principles

In being a reliable resource to Eritrean youth, we can positively impact their journey in life and provide positive experiences to help achieve goals. We believe in supporting Eritrean youth to reach their full potential by seeking innovative opportunities and help them explore and flourish.


  • Collaboration & Collaborative Leadership
  • Creative learning
  • Transparency
  • Excellence
  • Community-building



Eritreans Learning and Empowering Leaders is an intergenerational project that engages Eritrean youth and parents in educational attainment programs and workshops. It supports the development of culturally based resources, training for parents to be informed advocates for their children’s education, and the development of an Eritrean Educators Network.

This program seeks to provide youth with leadership and transferable life skills that will enable them to actively participate and excel in their communities (10 workshops across the span of 8 months). A retreat will allow 25 – 30 youth to be exposed to an intimate setting that will allow for peer to peer learning, and hopefully motivate them to participate with youth council and other initiative they may want to start within EYC. Our aim is that they can see opportunities for growth and learning with EYC and they can have a chance to learn firsthand from our team leaders and the experience of Youth Council.


Project S.E.M.A.Y (Sharing Experiences and Motivating Artistic Youth) will act as a space for youth to learn, increase confidence and share their stories and passion through film while addressing the social issues they face daily in Toronto. The Project Coordinator for SEMAY will work closely with the Operations Manager in advancing EYC’s mission and vision through the SEMAY Project. The aim of the project is to help youth explore and learn new skills in the following areas; video film production, story development, script writing, set design, film and sound editing, marketing and promotions. The Project Coordinator will create the project content, outreach to program participants, build relationships within the film industry to ultimately create a storytelling film series.


An art-based project helping youth to explore their passions in the arts while creating relevant materials through hands-on workshops and expert mentorship guidance. The word Menfes, meaning to give life or a belief in something, was built with the following goals in mind; Increase awareness of the arts amongst Eritrean youth, build and nurture arts-based skills and to provide a safe outlet for youth to explore and be creative.

Over the course of the program, youth have the opportunity to explore, learn, build resources and create a body of work. Project Menfes will culminate into a conference where all materials created throughout the program will be showcased and new ideas explored. The conference is scheduled for September 15, 2012 in Toronto.


EYC is currently participating in Agency Mentorship Program, with the support of For Youth Initiative (FYI), which is providing the organization with supports to build capacity and help establish sustainable practices. The three-year program will help EYC formalize (and establish) its processes and policies, acquire not-for-profit status and create a 5-year strategic plan for the organization. The program provides supports in the form of training, one-on-one mentorship and resources to support organizational development. In addition, through the funding, EYC is able to hire staff and maintain office space to conduct work.


EYC hosts a speakers’ series forum covering a wide range of topics chosen by the youth and workshop participants. The topics are carefully selected to engage youth and the community at large, and have a meaningful discussion around various subjects.

In the past, topics that were covered in Hibret have been; Eritrean History, Mothers and Daughters Talk; Community Building; Volunteerism; How to Apply for Scholarships.


Samples of work

not provided

Funding Sources


Our supporters provide us with various resources such as programming space, administrative capacity, training opportunities and connections to network connections. Through our strong partnerships and our relationship with our supporters, we continue to grow.