Immigrant advocates in Calgary are launching a new program to help better inform newcomers about what challenges to expect upon arrival.
Launched this month by the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society, the Welcome Resources Information Program’s key initiative is a website specifically designed to provide information and resources to newcomers before their arrival. The program will also entail setting up a booth at the Calgary airport to greet newcomers and provide direct contact and access to information.
“We have to show (newcomers) the way,” said Calgary Immigrant Educational Society executive director Salim Sindhu. “We cannot just leave them at home, isolated, with their families.”
However, Sindhu wants to make clear that the program is not intended simply to promote his own agency, which is mandated to assess newcomers’ needs and refer them to other immigrant resources.
In recent years Calgary has become one of the most popular destinations for new arrivals with a booming economy, increasing cultural diversity and massive infrastructure to support growth. Approximately 70,000 immigrants settled in Calgary between 2006 and 2011.
However, many newcomers are not taking advantage of the resources available to them, instead relying upon friends and relatives for information. They might not be aware of the existing support, and with the new program, website and airport presence, the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society hopes to directly address that issue and raise awareness.
Source: Calgary Herald