A progressive network that promotes and supports inclusion
Updates, Progress, and Good News
Priority: Promote and Enhance Settlement and Integration of Newcomers
With generous funding from the provincial Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, YWCA organized a 7 week/ 6 event sports and recreation program for newcomer youth between the ages of 8-16. Called Active Elgin, the program aims to familiarize participants with the wonderful variety of fun and exciting activities they can undertake throughout the cold, often unfamiliar winter months. Among the six events are tubing, snowboarding, hiking, skating, swimming and finally a Jr. B St. Thomas Stars hockey game as a part of the annual Fill the Rink event at the Timken Centre.
A big thanks to all of the organizations who provided discounted fees for the program; this wouldn't have been possible without you!
Priority: Promote Public Awareness of Diversity and Inclusion
Railway City Arts Crawl
STELIP is participating in the Railway City Arts crawl! The Railway City Arts Crawl is a FREE event celebrating local arts and culture. Set in various venues throughout St. Thomas Ontario, you are given a passport to guide you to the sites.
Explore at your own leisure during the set times of 6-9pm Feb 23rd and 11am-5pm February 24th.
Come visit STELIP at Destination Church to see the Canada Through My Lens Photo Exhibit and participate in the Living Library and be sure to stop into the St. Thomas Public Library to be part of the Belonging Video project.
March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and to prepare for the day of action STELIP with support from the St Thomas and Elgin County libraries, is undertaking a community video project on the topic of belonging. Members of the public will be encouraged to come down to the St. Thomas Public Library Carnegie room on February 21 from 4-7pm and during the Railway City Arts Crawl on February 23 and 24 to share what community belonging means to them. Additional footage from select rural libraries will be compiled into a video to be released on March 21st through all relevant networks.
Canada Through My Lens
As a part of the annual Railway City Art Crawl Canada Through My Lens will be displayed at Destination Church. A local photographer Grayden Laing delivered a series of photography classes to 6 newcomers to curate a exhibit of photos that communicate a different aspect of their personal settlement story. Each photo is accompanied by a short summary of the photo's story, and will collectively appear as a part of Canada Through My Lens at the Destination Church on February 23 and 24.
Also at this year's Railway City Art Crawl, STELIP has partnered with Bridges out of Poverty and the St. Thomas-Elgin Rainbow Alliance for the 4th Living Library. Originating in Denmark in 2000, the general principal of a Human/Living Library is to break down barriers and stereotypes through the use of human 'books'; real people who have agreed to share their lived experiences with anyone who wishes to 'read' them. Our version of the Living Library will feature newcomers, LGBTQ community members, and community members living in poverty and experiencing related barriers. Through 1-1 discussion, this event will inform and inspire all who come to interact with the 'books'.
Increase Awareness and Access to Appropriate Employment, Entrepreneurship and Labour Market Supports
Job Retention Checklist
Employment Services Elgin along with with STELIP developed a Job Retention checklist geared to immigrants entering the workforce. This tool will assist new Canadians retain jobs by providing practical tips before the job starts, the first week on the job, and a few months on the job. The transition into the Canadian workforce maybe difficult for people used to different work cultures. We encourage new canadians to access this tool to help their integration into the community!
STELIP and Community Partnership Projects
Skills connect is an initiative to educate, support and connect employers throughout St. Thomas and Elgin County with skilled, educated newcomers who are ready and willing to relocate for employment. As Canada continues to place increasing dependence on immigration to pace both our economic and population growth, employers require the knowledge and support necessary to access this growing labour pool of workers. Through ongoing contact and engagement with employers, staffing agencies and labour boards, the Skills Connect staff is building a viable network resource to commit towards the future sustainability of the St Thomas and Elgin economies.
STELIP Council Member Highlight
Director of Education and Settlement
YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin
"As a Director at the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin, we recognize how the many programs of the YWCA are founded in the principles of community building and advocacy, much like the work of STELIP. Within the Settlement Services, Adult Education, Housing, and Child and Youth programs, we advocate for social and economic inclusion for all as we collaborate with STELIP to build a welcoming and caring community.
"When people feel they belong they feel committed, proud, and will give back to their community. St. Thomas and Elgin County have not only a rich and natural landscape but we also have the potential to be a prosperous and welcoming region. We want to be a foundational component of that!”