Saturday, November 9, 2013

Community News

'Experience Diversity'

Multiculturalism Week Nov 18-23

Released by April Neave, CCS


ccording to the website, BC ranks as the most ethnically diverse province in Canada.


With a population of more than four million people, almost 30 per cent of British Columbians immigrated to BC from somewhere else and another five per cent of the population is aboriginal. Multiculturalism is a reality in the province.

November 18th to 23rd is Multiculturalism Week. Every year, communities across British Columbia celebrate and share the cultures and traditions of our diverse population.

Staff and volunteers at Chilliwack Community Services (CCS) experience diversity every day in their Immigrant Services Programs. Of the immigrants that make Chilliwack their home, approximately 250 have passed through the doors of Chilliwack Community Services this year. 

“They are looking for help, all different kinds of help,” says April Neave, Community Programs Director. “We help immigrants learn about the community, Canadian culture and how to navigate our systems—and of critical importance—we help them learn the language.”

At the agency, settlement workers help newcomers to complete a variety of applications and forms including citizenship, care cards and school registration for children. Staff and volunteers deliver workshops and short courses covering a host of subjects including citizenship test preparation and computer and financial literacy. 

Through the Welcoming Communities Program there have also been opportunities for immigrants to be part of dialogues and other events where they meet members of the community and have been able to talk about their settlement experiences. 

“These dialogues are highlighting the contribution and needs of newcomers,” notes Neave. “With local settlement service organizations working cooperatively, we are aiming to improve access to services and create a more welcoming and inclusive community for newcomers.”

In celebration of this special week, CCS is extending an invitation to the community to join in a number of events:

• Multiculturalism Tree Planting Ceremony with Mayor Sharon Gaetz 10:00 a.m Monday November 18th @Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack

• Adult Language Learner Workshop presented by Welcoming Communities Program 7:00 p.m. Tuesday November 19th@ UFV Canada Education Park

• Open House and Great Sushi Roll Off 10:00 to Noon Thursday November 21st at Immigrant Services Office 9214 Mary Street

• Display and Information Table 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday November 22nd at Real Canadian Superstore

CCS extends the challenge to citizens to reach out to families and neighbours to appreciate the differences that exist among us and recognize that cultural diversity enriches our whole community!

CCS is an independent local charity organization with offices downtown and in Sardis. Since 1928 the agency has provided caring community services to create opportunities with people to make positive change in their lives.

For more information or to volunteer, contact April Neave, Director of Community Programs at (604) 393-3251.



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