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Time flies when you’re…
Can you believe it’s April already?
- Collaborating with LIPs across the lower mainland to deliver top notch educational content.
- Facilitating in-person meetings for the Strategic Priority Working Groups.
- Continually recruiting for the VLIP to expand and grow the Partnership.As we head into a new fiscal year, we are excited to recap the last three months with you and share some exciting progress being made at our strategic priority working group meetings.
IN THIS ISSUE
- VLIP Update
- Feature Article
- Upcoming Events
- Event Recap
Strategic Priority Working GroupsIn February, we slightly modified the VLIP SPWG. The revised groups are:
- Group 1 – Cross-Sectoral Collaboration w/ Institutions Serving Newcomer Communities
- Group 2 – Digital Hub
- Group 3 – Community of Practice
- Group 4 – Employment Solutions
- Group 5 – Research & Development Influence Policy Change.
With discussions in full swing, we are starting to get a better idea of where each group can go, keeping in mind actionable and achievable projects we can fulfill in the remainder of our term (2023-2025).
If you are interested in learning more about the SPWG, reach out to us directly.
Membership is required to participate in these working groups - but - it’s never too late to join the Vancouver Local Immigration Partnership. We do accept applications on an ongoing basis.
Stories of Migration: I.G.’s StoryBy: I.G.as told to Farah Kotadia
In the next instalment of VLIP’s Stories of Migration Series…
…we focus on I.G., who came to Canada in 2020 from Madagascar and Paris.
Although originally from Tunisia, I.G. was working in Madagascar when the country was hit with the pneumonic and bubonic plague back in 2017 – before the world was consumed by COVID-19 and what would forever be known as the pandemic.
I.G. and her husband called a family meeting. They took a vote on whether they would go back to Paris - where they had made a home for themselves prior to moving to Madagascar, or come to Canada and specifically, Vancouver – where I.G.’s husband was from. “I was out-voted” recalls I.G., laughing playfully. The family came to Canada and settled in Vancouver in 2020. They chose the city of White Rock, to be close to her husband’s family and now reside in Crescent Beach. I.G. jokes that in Tunisia, her son went to the same school she attended, and now in White Rock, he attends the same school her husband went to. That is a global family!
When they first came to BC, I.G. recalls the sights and sounds of Christmas. She had always loved the season as a child, and seeing the lights at Van Dusen Gardens, she felt the Christmas spirit she had read about in stories and books growing up. “It was like entering a fairy tale,” I.G. said. “I love positive messages, and everything that’s bright and colourful and emotional and full of love.” She was so happy to get a beautiful, white Christmas.
I.G. still misses parts of her old life in Paris; her childhood friends, working near the Eiffel Tower, the food in Paris “I miss sitting in a garden, reading a book while eating my éclair du chocolat.”
She found making friends in Vancouver difficult, and finding a job that was in line with her education and experience was especially challenging. Starting over with an entry level job and a salary that was much lower than she expected was something of a surprise to I.G.. “I speak five languages and people told me I would have no trouble finding a job, but employers don’t care about how many languages you speak. They only care about your level of English.” Feeling dejected, I.G. decided to take a lower paying job doing something she at least enjoyed, rather than taking on a survival job that she would not like.
I.G. is proud that she started as a Communications Agent and worked her way up to her current role as General Manager for the Francophone Immigration Co-op of British Columbia. What helped her gain the confidence is the SCOPE program at MOSAIC. This program allowed her to accept the idea that “you can have an impact even if you are not at the higher levels of the organization.”
When asked what advice she would give to newcomers, I.G. offered: “Accept that first job. Not a survival job but a job that’s within your realm, which may not be exactly what you were hoping for when you left your country. Get that tiny little job that you don’t want. Don’t look at the paycheque. Look at the opportunities and get that Canadian experience. It’s going to be okay.”
UPCOMING EVENTSThurs. June 8, 2023
**IN PERSON @ MOSAIC (5575 Boundary Road)
*VLIP membership required to attend
Weds. May 10- Thurs. May 11, 2023
Right to be Ready Conference
Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre Campus, Vancouver BC
2 Day in-person conference
Organized by Mothers Matter Centre.
The Right to Be Ready Conference will bring together policymakers, researchers, community organizations, school boards, educational authorities, and funders to better understand and explore strategies for closing preschool readiness gaps in Canada.
March 21 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
This year, on Monday, March 20, Local Immigration Partnerships from across the lower mainland worked together to bring folks a free event and workshop centered around how we can continue to confront and dismantle racial discrimination.
Today, there is still a legacy of colonialism in our society. Racism and prejudice are entrenched in the very fabric that make up our communities.
VLIP, along with Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table, North Shore Immigration Partnership, Katzie Ridge Meadows Local Immigration Partnership, Surrey LIP, and New West LIP came together to host a full day educational event.
The day was packed with thoughtful panel discussions and a powerful session from Theatre of the Oppressed.
In the words of Elder Colleen Pierre of Katzie Nation, “The more we talk, the more we take a stand, the more lasting changes in policy we will see. And, by speaking up, we make the way easier for others around us to take a stand.”