2005 National Host Conference
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[ Section 3 ] Conference Workshops
Workshop 2A - Host Programs in Small Immigration Centers - Atlantic Region
Merek Jagielski, Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement
Association, Nova Scotia
Paulette Leonard, YMCA Newcomer Centre, Newfoundland
Evelyn Jones, Catholic Social Services, Nova Scotia
In the Atlantic Region, staff in settlement organizations wears many hats. This workshop explored innovative ways that Host Program staff support newcomers in their settlement and adaptation process, while also undertaking community development, and educating the public.
Initiatives implemented by Atlantic Region Host Programs were explored, such as:
- Integration and Leadership Development – through an energetic immigrant women’s group in Nova Scotia and an active newcomer men’s group in Newfoundland
- Social Activities – such as well-attended community potluck suppers and upbeat recreational events in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
- Education – through important community outreach in Newfoundland and dynamic volunteer workshops in Nova Scotia
The workshop also explored future directions of Host Program development from a regional perspective.
Host Program “Best Practices” are often developed locally. Presenters discussed 6 practices occurring in the Atlantic Region:
- Nova Scotia: Supper Nova: Host suppers for newcomers and volunteers, hosted at a church.
- New Brunswick: potlucks for newcomers and volunteers
- Nova Scotia: Volunteers take part in volunteer training program through YMCA friend-to-friend matches.
- PEI: the Host Post is a quarterly newsletter that is distributed to newcomers, volunteers, board members, and NGOs.
- Newfoundland: Newcomer Men’s Group includes activities for young newcomer men, for whom matches have been difficult to find.
- Newfoundland: Summer Camp Program for newcomer children to participate in social, recreational, and educational activities.
- Questions were asked on the PEI newsletter, and the website to contact the organization was provided: www.peianc.com.
- There is a small fee ($40) for the Summer Camp Program.
- There is a “pen pals” Host Program in Victoria, British Columbia, that matches newcomers and Canadian youth. The matches start out by writing letters, and then meet.
- Explore the possibility of creating a network of Host providers and Host workers to facilitate exchange of best practices, perhaps using the internet as the connection tool.
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