LEF encourages the complete integration and inclusion of newcomers in their communities by creating a welcoming environment and providing opportunities to volunteer, develop leadership skills and participate in community activities events. We have seen the dramatic impacts of these activities on our newcomer clients’ confidence, well-being, and outcomes.
Activities will include a volunteer-led summer program, community leadership and volunteering activities, community activities and events, supports for mental health and well-being, networks for internationally trained professionals, and staff professional development.
These activities utilize the inherent skills that newcomer clients bring with them; staff and clients will jointly develop access to opportunities where clients can use their soft and hard leadership skills and develop those skills in ways that provide stronger connections to the community. Newcomers will make connections with Canadians that will foster cross-cultural integration, social inclusion, and language skills development in an informal setting (for example, conversation circles or facilitating activities).
Community connections will happen within the community – schools, community centres, libraries and meeting places. In collaboration with LEF’s existing employment-related programs, newcomers are offered links to employers. The Communities Connections theme takes a leading role in the development, implementation and coordination of the volunteer-led “Language Summer Program,” which offers client-led workshops and activities that allow for the continuation of language and skills acquisition over the summer months. Through these activities, clients will increase participation in communities and build their social networks.