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Services for Newcomers

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Shannon, Queen's Square | November 1, 2020

Finding your way in your new home!

For Eliana M., after immigrating from Sudan three years ago finding footing in her new life in Kitchener-Waterloo had its challenges. First of all, everything was new. New language, new people, new ways of doing things. Then there was the added responsibility of trying to figure out normal adolescent issues like what career goals to pursue – and how to achieve them. So, when she heard about the Let’s Talk program offered by the KW Multicultural Centre, it seemed like a good step to take.

Let’s Talk is a program designed to help newcomer youth explore their interests, learn from mentors and plan for their future. With sessions like ‘exploring wellness’, ‘what do I want to be’ and ‘discovering community’ it promises a clearer path forward during the often lonely, always demanding experience of settlement in a new country.  Through weekly online meetings and fun challenges, teens can earn volunteer hours and try new things, while making valuable connections and exploring their future path.

“When I first arrived, it was hard to get to know anyone.” Eliana shared. “During Let’s Talk I made friends and got to know people outside of my comfort zone. It helped me know my community better.”

One of those friends was Samrawit S., who came to Canada 1 year and eight months ago. For Samrawit, who wants to pursue a career as a medical doctor, the Let’s Talk program was “So fun! We did art, drama, and games, all while we learned our rights, practiced English, and thought about what we wanted to be. Even help with homework was available.”

“If you are new here, you should try it!” Eliana suggested. “Anika, the program facilitator, shares great stuff with us. She brought in guest speakers and mentors so we could learn about the career we want. I loved that part.”

Let’s Talk, which has achieved much success in Kitchener-Waterloo has now come to Cambridge through a partnership with Idea Exchange and the YMCA. Online sessions during COVID. This free program takes place on Wednesdays, at 7pm online, and registration is now open.