New immigrants are those people who migrate to other countries for better life opportunities. We want to highlight some of the issues that new immigrants face when they move to a new country. There are many organizations in Ontario who help newcomers such as welcome centres, OCASI, newcomer women services etc. Our mission is to help people understand the issues that new immigrants face and how it impacts them.
The Unique Needs of Newcomers
When individuals, couples and families emigrate from their home country, they have unique needs to help them settle. While it it important to learn the rules and customs of the new country, the family also has to learn how to transition their own way of living and knowing as well. For some people, it may take 2-10 years before they begin to feel settled into the new country. Some unique needs are listed below:
1. Need of English language.
When new immigrants arrive in Canada it is difficult for them to speak or talk in language. It can be challenging for them to communicate and create problems such as finding a job, house, education etc.
2 Need of Employment
It is very difficult for new immigrants to find a job in Canada because of the lack of communication skills and lack of canadian work experience. Because of these reasons it takes them a lot of time to find a good job so they start working with low wages.
3 Need of Mental Health Counselling
When immigrants move to a different country they are more likely to experience mental health issues because of the new culture. They can easily get depressed for not finding a job. Language barrier is another major stressor.
Strategies to Support Newcomers
To support newcomers as an organization, or as a neighbour or friend, it is important to provide guidance that fits into their unique needs. As an ally, we are always encouraged to ask how we can help and provide suggestions of what we can do. It is not always necessary to take over or assume how a newcomer needs support. Checking in with the newcomer is also important to ensure they have opportunity and spaces to share how they are feeling in the transition.
- Social Services– Connecting families and individuals with services in the community that meets their health, medical, legal, housing and financial needs are extremely important to assist them as they come into the country. Many newcomers come from countries that have varying supports for women and children, and they may not realize how much support is available in one area. Usually, a newcomer organization will provide families with an overview of the services available in the community and assist them with navigating these resources.
- Help with language– Our world is rich with languages and dialects. It is what makes us a dynamic and diverse planet. Newcomers will need help with learning French or English. As an organization, having access to interpreters and language classes are extremely important to assist newcomers with the transition. As a friend, organizing tea time or other social events to help them learn the language is very important. Children are also supported with an English is a Second Language (ESL) program that helps them to perform at their academic level with the support of the special services department at the school.
- Counselling for fitting with new society– In any new situation, there will always be a period of transition that may require additional support. Counsellors can help individuals, couples and families work through some of their challenges and difficulties they may experience through the transition. Counselling can occur in many formats, and this can enhance the individuals’ success in transitioning and resuming a healthy life in their new country.
- Guidance– As shared before, there is always a transition in understanding Canadian laws and regulations, as well as services available. By providing families guidance on how they can support their children, and access parenting resources and social services, families can transition successfully within Canada. Further, there are laws that govern couple relationships, and separation that can help couples access resources in the event their relationships experience difficulties. Guidance and support can help newcomer families with understanding shifts in practices and norms within the new country, and help them access the support they need to live healthy lives.
Resources – specific resources for newcomers in Durham Region and Toronto
1 Welcome Centre Immigrant Services – Durham
Welcome Centre Immigrant Services is designed to guide and support immigrants through the maze of information and resources in the Durham Region by providing one-stop services in both Ajax and Pickering at each stage of the settlement journey.
They offer Settlement and Integration; Language Assessment and Training; Accreditation and Qualifications Information; and Employment Supports.
2 Community Development Council Durham
It is a non-profit organization offering a wide range of services to help newcomers feel settled in their new communities, including counselling, language services, information and referral in the areas of immigration, housing and education, and many more. Services are offered in over 10 different languages.
Website : https://www.cdcd.org/
3 Durham Immigration Portal
Durham Immigration portal is a one-stop, community-based immigration web portal, designed to welcome, support, attract and retain skilled newcomers, newcomer entrepreneurs, businesses and other new Canadians to our Region. The portal has been recognized on a national level.
4. Durham Counselling services
This counselling services will help newcomers who are in need of fitting in with the society as well as understanding the basic guidelines of how to cope with the new society. It will also allow them to feel less anxious and more confident with themselves. The more social services that they get the better they will cope with society.
5. Job Seeker: Resources for newcomers
This website will help newcomers to find jobs, and also get services that can be a useful guide to allow them to understand and know how to find jobs. To also help people who are currently employed and are needed for jobs.
6. Durham Faith and Worship
This resource will provide newcomers helping them find their religious community as well as cultural and faith-based festivals and events.
Website: Faith and Worship – Durham
7 Access Alliance- Toronto
Access Alliance works to improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable immigrants, refugees, and their communities by facilitating access to five services areas, primary care, illness prevention, health promotion, community capacity building and service integration.
They provide settlement services to newcomers including LGBTQ+ newcomers.
8 YMCA- Toronto
YMCA offers services that help new immigrants settle in canada. They offer support in nearly 60 languages. They offer services such as language training, employment, and pre arrival settlement services.
Website : https://ymcagta.org/
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