Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • January & February 2011 • Published by the Immigrant Women’s Centre
Community members gather at the Jamesville Community Centre on January 17 for a Do-It-Yourself Screenprinting workshop hosted by the Hamilton Freeskool.
Celebrating the work of women in the liberation of knowledge By Devon Ridge, Current Co-Organizer of Hamilton Freeskool
Hamilton Freeskool recently celebrated its 2nd birthday, marking two years of creating space beyond the confines of structured education systems and moving towards the liberation of knowledge in the Hamilton community. Freeskool is a way for all people, across communities, to come together and share in learning and skill-sharing. Freeskool works to provide an egalitarian (which is the belief that all people and voices are equal), radically inclusive, anti-oppressive setting for the sharing of passions to take place. The original organizers who developed Freeskool were very concerned with creating a space that was safe and empowering for women, without the domination of the space by men that too often happens elsewhere. However, it has turned out that the vast majority of Freeskool’s organizers and class facilitators are and have been women. Successful projects such as Exploratory Movement, (a revolutionary dance class),
Tribute to Black History
Vegan Baking, Freeskool’s SEW Cool, Practical Solidarity, Flow Circus, History of Revolution, Permaculture and language skill-shares such as Spanish and Arabic, have all been facilitated by inspiring women. Perhaps this trend is no coincidence, considering that there are many parallels between Freeskool’s intentions and the invaluable work that the women of the world do every day: building strength and health within communities. This largely gendered work of growing healthy communities is not glamorous in our society. It requires a great commitment to the creative reinvention of social relations, often by trial and error. The work of redefining our relationships to learning requires bravery, imagination, and the creation of safe spaces for sharing. Ways of supporting and sustaining each other through skill sharing, interpersonal relations and community building are the types of work women have been maintaining for generations. And this
Underground Railroad page 2
work is tremendously important for increasing the health of our communities. During the recent fall semester, one of many classes offered was Introduction to Arabic, facilitated by Alyaa. With a lifetime of teaching experience, a contagious love for the Arabic language, and a passion for sharing, Alyaa nurtured the growth of her class with eloquence. New to Hamilton after having moved to Canada just a few months ago, Alyaa became interested in Freeskool as a space to build community, gain experience and share what she knows. Introduction to Arabic was a space where all participants could support each other in sharing their knowledge and passion. “The comfortable atmosphere of the Arabic class” described one participant, “was ideal for learning the basics of a difficult new skill”. A delicious potluck marked the semester’s end.
Services for Newcomers Where to go for Immigrant and Refugee Support page 4
- continued on page 3 -
By Marie Antelo, Community Development Coordinator at Hamilton Community Legal Clinic On Oct. 21, 2010, the federal Conservative government introduced Bill C-49, its proposed “anti-human smuggling” legislation. Despite the title, Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act, most of the provisions in the bill punish refugees, not smugglers. The people who will suffer if this bill is passed are those fleeing persecution, including children and torture victims, who come to Canada to seek protection and are found to have used “irregular means” to get here. Bill C-49 requires the mandatory detention of such people without review for one full year. - continued on page 9 -
Catalysts for Community Hamilton’s Emerging Women Leaders page 6
The controversial human smuggling bill page 9
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Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.2
Letter from the Editor In a big city like Hamilton, what does community involvement look like? There are so many things going on in so many places – various groups, neighborhoods, associations and clubs working together to build community, and improve our city. In this issue we take a look at some of those things that are bringing Hamiltonians together, and the women behind it all. Catalysts for community features six women in our city taking action and emerging as leaders in the movement towards social justice. Through both local and international projects, each woman approaches community-building in a different way. Each has their own goals, their own motivations, but share a common interest in mobilizing others to affect change in our city and world. We are pleased to feature the Hamilton Freeskool – a great example of community members mobilized to share knowledge and skills in a supportive community. Based on the philosophy that everyone has skills to share, the equity-seeking program is in its second year and continues to grow with new classes, facilitators, learners and allies. In her article on Freeskool, Devon Ridge, one of our Catalysts for Community, shares the philosophy of the project and its relevance for women – and all of us who are seeking to strengthen Hamilton’s Community. There’s also some very practical info to get you through the rest of this cold winter. Learn how to make your home energy efficient for winter – stay warm and save money with the list of practical, easy and affordable steps. And find out what happening in the city on Family Day, February 21. With all sorts of interesting things to do you can spend a great day with your family, keep your mind off the winter cold, and get more involved in this great city. There really is something for everyone in Hamilton. Sincerely, Ines Rios Executive Director Immigrant Women’s Centre 8 Main Street East, Suite 101 Hamilton, ON L8N 1E8 (905) 529-5209
Please send feedback, press releases and submissions to: Michelle at 905-529-5209 x257 or email@example.com
Founded in 1988, the Immigrant Women’s Centre is an equality seeking, antiracist, charitable organization dedicated to the social, political and economic inclusion of refugee and immigrant women in a just and supportive Canadian society. The Centre is committed to enabling refugee and immigrant women to discover and build their new futures through skills development and settlement support.
Learning the Underground Railroad By Marie Antelo, Community Development Coordinator at Hamilton Community Legal Clinic When my older son was in to address a nation like the Canadian Grade 6, he introduced me to a book audience. Over and above any kinthat changed my life. The book is ship of U.S. citizens and Canadians “Underground to Canada” by Bar- as North Americans, there is a sinbara Smucker. Both my son and I gular historical relationship between read the story of a American Nelittle girl and her groes and CanaMy son said to me: “If dians. journey to freedom through the Under- it was not for those men, Canada is ground Railroad to not merely a women and children that neighbour to Canada. Although I had read small came to Canada through Negroes. Deep pieces and articles our history the Underground Rail- in about the Underof struggle for ground Railroad, road, maybe I would not freedom Canada this book shared by was the North be free today.” a 12-year-old boy Star. The Negro touched my heart. slave, denied edThe 19th-century Underground ucation, de-humanized, imprisoned Railroad is linked to Canada’s role in on cruel plantations, knew that far the movement to abolish slavery. It is to the north a land existed where a also linked to this country’s long and fugitive slave, if he survived the horoften controversial history in dealing rors of the journey, could find freewith refugees. Canada welcomed dom. The legendary Underground thousands of black fugitives from Railroad stared in the south and the United States, and they made a ended in Canada. The freedom road major contribution to the develop- links us together. Our spirituals, ment of the country. now so widely admired around the The introduction of this book in- world, were often codes. We sang cludes part of a speech made by Dr. of “heaven” that awaited us, and the Martin Luther King Jr. while visiting slave masters listened in innocence, Toronto in 1967: not realizing that we were not speak“It is a deep personal privilege ing of the hereafter. Heaven was the
word for Canada and the Negro sang of the hope that his escape on the underground railroad would carry him there. One of our spirituals, “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, in its disguised lyrics contained directions for escape. The gourd was the big dipper and the North Star to which its handle pointed gave the celestial map to direct the flight to the Canadian border”. When my son and I finished reading and sharing this book, we spoke about the significance of the Underground Railroad today in our lives. We thought of those who fought so we too can be free today. We spoke of those who throughout history came looking for the “Northern Star,” a chance to live free of oppression and to be respected regardless of their religion, race, nationality or sexual orientation. My son said to me: “If it was not for those men, women and children that came to Canada through the Underground Railroad, maybe I would not be free today.” Instead of me teaching a lesson to my son, it was in fact my son who taught me about a crucial part of Canadian history.
Accessing your personal files Legal Q & A With Deepa Dayal Local lawyer Deepa Dayal answers questions from readers about issues important to women and immigrants.
Under the Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), with some exceptions, individuals have a right to access and request correction of their own personal information held by government organizations. Under the Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), with some exceptions, individuals have a right to access and request correction of their own personal health information held by health information custodians. “Personal information” means recorded information about you. This may include your name, address, sex, age, education, medical or employment history – and any other information about you. In many cases, you should be able to see your personal information and/or request correction of your personal information just by calling, writing or visiting the appropriate government organization. If you do not obtain the information you want, or the government organization refuses to correct your personal information, you should make a formal freedom of infor-
mation request in writing. You can make a freedom of information request by completing a request form, or writing a letter stating that you are requesting information or asking for a correction of your personal information under FIPPA or MFIPPA. Then, forward the completed request form or letter to the “Freedom of Information and Privacy Co-ordinator” at the government organization most likely to have
quest for access and/or correction of your personal information. An appeal must be made within 30 days of the government organization making its decision. To appeal, write a letter to the Registrar at the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Deepa Dayal practices law in Hamilton and specializes in the areas of civil, family, immigration, employment and administrative law. She can be reached at Deepa Dayal Law Office, Suite No. 107A, 100 Main Street East. Contact her by phone at 905-523-7171 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are my rights when it comes to accessing files or personal information about me that services organizations have? the information you are looking for. A $5 application fee must accompany your request for access to your personal information. As well, you may be charged for photocopying and shipping costs. No fees are charged for the time required to locate and prepare records containing your personal information. Government organizations that receive personal information requests under FIPPA or MFIPPA must respond within 30 calendar days. However, under some circumstances, government organizations may need to extend this time frame. You also have the right to appeal any decision made by a government organization in regards to your re-
1. What does ‘personal information’ include?
2. How do you make a freedom of information request?
Discussion: Why might you want to access personal files?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb 2011 • p.3
Celebrating the work of women
Continued from page 1
our minds, but our hearts return to the process of learning too. Sharing knowledge through Freeskool is also a way to learn new things without paying ever-increasing tuition fees or incurring crippling debt. By existing outside of economy, this model of free community learning calls into question the idea of education as a commodity, something to be bought and sold. In fact, as we continue to tap into the knowledge already existing in our community, we find that we are already wealthy with skills, traditions and abilities. What’s more, past Freeskool classes such as the women-facilitated Bike Fixing class, show how we can put our learning to work and give back to the greater community. The growth of Freeskool is dependent only on the continued passion of people in our community to share what they learn. Beyond the visible benefits of Freeskool’s presence in the community, Alyaa, facilitator of Introduction to Arabic, demonstrates pronounciation at the Immigrant Women’s Centre on Rebecca Street. we are also carving an uncharted path towards healthy social structures. The It was a well-deserved celebration of in whatever format participants find most you learn about it? original Freeskool organizers spent many useful. From art projects in community It is exactly these types of passions that the group’s bravery in taking on the hours working to ensure that unhealthy challenge of learning a new language. centres, to knitting circles in living rooms can be shared with others in Freeskool power dynamics of privilege, hierarchy Introduction to Arabic was organized and hikes through the forest—there is classes. and patriarchy that are found in traditional in partnership with the Immigrant no formula for how a Freeskool class If we start by asking “what am I education models were actively avoided Women’s Centre. It was hosted after hours might look. Each class is unique and interested in?” we can encourage a culture as Freeskool grew. “We aim to make our in an English-teaching classroom at the runs autonomously. The participants and of life-learning, also called ‘unschooling’. spaces diverse and safe for the expression IWC on Rebecca Street. Freeskool works facilitators work together to create their “Un-schooling is that very moment when of all identities” the Freeskool manifesto with many other allies in the community, own structures, learning models and you are really sucked into something, explains. “We believe this is essential including the Jamesville Community processes. whether it’s an idea or project and you to the learning process. Exposing and Centre, SACHA, The Skydragon Centre, You don’t need to be an ‘expert’ to just want to study it or be involved in it, challenging unjust race, class, gender, age, and Environment Hamilton. This begin a class: anyone can be a facilitator. master it,” says Canadian documentary ability, sexual orientation, experience, and year, Freeskool intends to continue to We all have our own skills, knowledge maker Astra Taylor. It dismisses the notion other dynamics, helps us to work towards make connections with more existing and interests. What are you passionate of authority in education, instead opening a culture that values a wider range of community groups and organizations. about? Have you ever found a topic that up inclusive, safe spaces for un-learning to truths.” Freeskool is a useful tool for you become immediately intrigued by, thrive. When we follow our true passions communities to connect and share ideas and it seems your interest grows the more towards knowledge, we bring not only
“We have used many tools to meet our goals. FreeSkool is committed to anti-oppression. We are decentralized, running on a model of consensus decision-making. We seek to be self-sustaining and to build strong bonds with other community organizations. We put our learning to work and give back to the greater community.” What are you waiting for? Grab a friend and join one of more than 10 Freeskool classes happening this semester: Art • Spanish • SEW Cool • French Conversation Circle • Food Politics / Dumpster Diving • Flow Circus • Learning Revolution • Practical Solidarity • QiGong for Healing • Quilting • Weekly Documentary Screenings www.hamiltonfreeskool.org
1. What motivated Alyaa to facilitate an Arabic language class? 2. What are two of the committees Ayda has joined?
Discussion: What kind of project would you create to motivate people and increase their self-esteem? What Freeskool class would you be interested in attending?
New funding available for youth-led projects Hamilton Community Foundation announces grants for young volunteer groups By Matt Goodman and Grace Diffey, Hamilton Community Foundation Hamilton Community Foundation wants to hear from young people with ideas for making a difference. The Foundation has announced grants of up to $2,500 for youth-led projects that improve the local community, neighbourhood or school. “Kids have great ideas for community improvement, but they often lack the financial resources to make their ideas happen,” says HCF’s Vice-President of Grants & Community Initiatives, Matt Goodman. “These grants can help them achieve a tangible impact, and set the stage for lifelong community engagement.” The grants are available to youth between the ages of 11 and 25 and youth must participate as volunteers. The Foundation will provide half of the
project costs up to a maximum of $2,500, provided that the project team can find matching support in the community. Community support can be cash, or inkind support. “In kind support means what the community can give or donate to your project,” says Goodman. “It can include things like food for volunteers, use of a building, vehicle or equipment, tutoring or mentoring. Eligible expenses that the Foundation will cover include things like project materials, promotional costs, transportation, food and lodging for volunteers.” The program is run by the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC), a corps of young volunteers. The projects are proposed by youth throughout the community and YAC
members assess the proposals and recommend those to be funded. The projects range widely; those funded last year included a mentoring recruitment campaign, an educational program on mental health, a global citizenship conference and a fair on renewable energy. Project proposals will be accepted until March 4, 2011; projects must be completed by November 30, 2011. HCF’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) provides young people age 13 to 21 with an opportunity to work together with HCF as they raise funds and make grants in our community to benefit other youth. YAC members learn about Hamilton’s strengths and needs, get involved in the community, gain leadership and provide a youth
perspective to the Foundation’s work. Hamilton Community Foundation connects people’s philanthropic objectives with the community’s needs to help them make the difference they want to make. We do this by working with donors to build funds, granting to the widest possible range of charitable organizations and initiatives and fostering community leadership Since it was founded, Hamilton Community Foundation has made grants of more than $59 million to the community, including approximately $4.0 million last year. For more guidelines and application forms for Youth-Led Community Action Projects, visit HCF’s website at www.hcf. on.ca or contact YAC advisor Linda Hughes at email@example.com.
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.4
Where to go: services for newcomers By Michelle Drew, Communications Coordinator at the Immigrant Women’s Centre Since the recent closure of SISO, there has been confusion about how the resulting gap in essential services for newcomers in Hamilton will be filled. The IWC’s concern is that Hamilton’s newcomer families have the information they need to find the agencies that will enable them to access services essential to their settlement. Organizations are working to lessen the impact on the most vulnerable stakeholders, having their doors wide open for newcomers and their families. The Immigrant Women’s Centre has received a total of $300,000 in additional funding by Citizenship and Immigration Canada on an emergency basis to enhance their Immigrant Settlement and Adaption Program. The centre has five different locations in Hamilton, combined with a 27 member team supporting in 24 different languages. Out of these, thirteen were recently hired with the funding, many of whom were previously employed at SISO. The IWC’s settlement services include assistance with forms and immigration, employment counseling, referrals to community services, workshops as well as information on housing, healthcare, the labour market and credential evaluation. Also offered are various workplace skill courses, language training and childminding. Along with the Immigrant Women’s Centre, other Hamilton agencies have received emergency funding. Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre is now handling the HOST program, and the YMCA is adding newcomer youth services such as homework club, drop-in, and conversational circles. The Francophone Centre also offers settlement services for French-speaking newcomers. Each agency is well-equipped and ready to serve the immigrant and refugee population in Hamilton. For more information on services of support for newcomers to Hamilton, visit iwchamilton.ca or inform.hamilton.ca.
Facilitator Erika Zarate (far left) presents certificate to Martha Buitrago (middle left) graduate of the Enterprising Women program at the Immigrant Women’s Centre along with Irene McArthur (middle right) and fellow graduate Tiffany Amber Jar (far right).
Hamilton and Region Citizenship and Immigration Canada funded Services Immigrant Women’s Centre 8 Main Street East Suite 101 (905) 529-5209 182 Rebecca Street (905) 525-9676 1119 Fennell Avenue East (905) 387-1100 45 Montcalm Drive Unit #43 (905) 388-5048 Centre de Santé Communautaire 460 Main Street East, 2nd floor (905) 528-0163 Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre 3rd Floor - 20 Hughson Street (289) 244-0629 YMCA Youth ISAP Program 23 Main Street East (905) 540-9679
YMCA Newcomer Youth HOST Program 79 James Street South Hamilton (905) 529-7102 x5558 Grand Erie District School Board 365 Rawdon Street Brantford (519) 753-6079 YMCA Employment & Newcomer Services 285 Bunting Road St. Catharines (905) 684-3500 Centre for Skills Development and Training 860 Harrington Court Burlington (905) 333-3499
Who Will You NOMINATE? Arts Administration Arts Education Community Arts Film and New Media Fine Craft Music Performance Theatre Visual Art Writing Lifetime Achievement
Nominate a local artist today for the renewed City of Hamilton Arts Awards Program! The Program now offers $38,500 in cash awards for artists in 11 different categories. For updates, nomination form and public information sessions contact: T: 905-546-2424 ext. 7612 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for nominations: Friday, February 25th, 2011
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb 2011 • p.5
Immigrating to Canada: a child’s perspective
Women in top spots at local agencies
By Lil Carrillo
Ten-year-old Lil Carrillo tells her story of first immigranting to Canada six years ago. When she grows up she wants to be the President of El Salvador or Prime Minister of Canada.
Hello, my name is Lil Carrillo and this is my story about how I felt coming to Canada. It was a nice hot day at my country El Salvador and my mom and I were ready to say goodbye to the whole family. All of my family from my mom’s side met at my house (that is now my aunt’s house) and we said goodbye. After we went and said good bye to my family from my dad’s side. After, when we got to say goodbye to everybody I started to feel sad. I started to cry on the car ride to the airport. About an hour later we got to the airport and got our bags out from the car, we got in line to get the plane tickets. When we got
the plane tickets I saw my aunt standing up there to say the last goodbye. We hugged and I wished that I could never let go, but we had to go. I’ve been feeling really sad all the way until we reached the plane.
“I was in a new country with my dad and mom and ready to succeed.” We waited in the waiting room for some time and finally the plane was ready to board the passengers. As we were in line to get on the plane, I felt sad that I was leaving my country and excited that I was
going to see my dad again and live together. I was so excited that we were in the plane and I looked at it and studied it because I had never been on a plane before. We found our seats and got ready to take off. It took a few minutes but we finally took off ready to fly to Canada and see my father. When we were on the plane I ate, went to sleep and saw a movie. Oh, that cold night when I finally got to live with my dad and mom was the best night in my whole life. I was in a new country with my dad and mom and ready to succeed.
With 25 years of nonprofit experience in Hamilton, Wesley Urban Ministries has announced the appointment of Daljit Garry as their new Executive Director. “I am very excited about my new role with Wesley Urban Ministries. I look forward to working with the community to decrease barriers and increase opportunities for the citizens of Hamilton”, says Garry. She has been employed with Wesley Urban Ministries for the past 7 years in the role of Director of Family and Children’s Programs. During that time she has been instrumental in developing programs and undertaking projects that provide a real measure of success for many children and families in Hamilton. Garry is a community leader who works collaboratively with many partners to make a difference in people’s lives. She brings a positive energy and commitment to the vision of Wesley Urban Ministries. ---------------------------On December 1 Denise Doyle officially took over as full time CEO of YWCA Hamilton. A former YWCA president and national board member, Doyle had been the interim CEO since June, replacing Cathie Pead, who had retired. Chosen from a field of about 70 candidates, the 48-year-old Doyle is a life-long booster of the organization. “I started with the Y as a child,” said Doyle. “My mother used to take my brother and I to the YWCA on Ottawa Street.” Originally a textile engineer, Doyle also ran a consulting business where she assisted non profit groups for the past 10 years. A co-chair of the local Elect More Women group, Doyle said her goals as new YWCA CEO include recruiting and mentoring future female leaders in the organization, lobbying for more low income housing for women, pushing to get more women into elected office and to generally promote matters that pertain to women locally and nationally. “I want women’s issues to be front and centre,” Doyle said. “I want the voice of women to count.” Doyle said as many as 7,000 people, mostly women, use one or more of the Hamilton YWCA’s 35 programs and services each year.
Opinion: overcoming obstacles in Canada By Lidia Urrutia
What does it mean to be an immigrant woman here in Canada? It means that we have left our family and friends, our homes and professions, everything we knew and loved in order to find a better life. We leave not necessarily because we want to, but because we have to, whether it is a personal or political reason. We leave to
get away from the violence that could befall not only us but our children and our children’s children. For some of us they are the ones we fight for, and they are the ones that we want a better life for. This is why we have gone through everything, why we have crossed borders and oceans: in order to find a better life for us and them.
When we arrive, we take a big breath in and say, “We are safe,” but our fight is not over. Like the Berlin Wall, there are obstacles we need to overcome. For an immigrant woman that has gone through challenges beforehand, these obstacles may seem like an impenetrable wall that we cannot see the end or top of. However, just like the Berlin Wall, if we chip away at each block one at a time we can bring the whole wall down. These obstacles are: (1) the governing system of Canada which is aimed at protecting Canadians over immigrants [which is understandable], (2) the language and cultural barriers that we as Immigrants are not willing to give up [nor should we have to], (3) our own personal challenges and shattered confidence that we may have lost in the struggle of coming to Canada. These are the obstacles we need to break down, go around, or change. We are strong, intelligent women and we need to use this strength and intelligence to answer one question: how can we accomplish our goals? If we want to regain our confidence, we must break down our walls by talking about them.
Otherwise, they stay inside and it is our confidence that suffers. Changing the way people perceive us will take time, but it can be done. By not allowing racism or prejudice to make us act in a negative way, they will see how unjust those ideas are. We must overcome our language and cultural barriers by learning to come together with people who do not speak our language. In this way we can practice English without losing our own language and culture. The governing system of Canada is changing. It is not where it should be yet but little by little it will get there. 1. What had Lil never been on before she came to Canada?
2. What does Lidia say are obstacles for immigrant women?
Discussion: What are some ways to overcome language and cultural barriers?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.6
Catalysts for community: Hamilton’s emerging women leaders At the Women’s Press, we have heard the stories of many strong, inspirational women in the Hamilton community. Featured in this issue, are six of these women who inspire and motivate us to continue in the struggle for social change. Working to build and transform communities, these women have taken leadership to begin intiatives and continually work to sustain existing collaborative projects. All have a common goal to work for social justice and empower those around them in Hamilton and beyond.
When Jetta Turkstra first moved to Canada from Senegal in 2001, she didn’t speak English. Her challenges with immigrating were as expected: cold weather and language barriers. Fortunately, she enrolled in English classes immediately and began her journey to integration. “Yes, it was tough,” she says,
“but there were more good things than bad.” She has along with the Dundas Soccer Community Associaton since found a welcoming home in Dundas and has donated the funds needed to ship the equipment, become an inspiration to many in her community. which Turkstra will be taking with her in late February. Knowing that the children in her home country Apart from volunteering as a soccer coach, she also often played soccer without equipment, she decided coordinates fundraisers for her children’s school and to take back her two daughters’ jerseys when she previously, their daycare. “I love being involved and returned to Senegal at the close of the season. Maryama, making a difference. For me this is not work; it is now 8 and Jamila, 6, were something I enjoy.” delighted to share their “Every child deserves to act like a Her commitment belongings. The following and dedication to her child, and that is priceless.” year, a friend gave her community in Dundas forty jerseys to take back. and Senegal has inspired “When I took them there it was a very big hit. I gave her children as well. For their birthday parties, instead them to a group of young boys, and they put numbers of asking for presents, her daughter’s ask friends to on the back and used them as uniforms,” she explains. bring French books or donations that can be given to “I don’t think I have felt happier than the moment I schools in Senegal. had 100 kids running after me as I was sitting down In the future, she hopes to get more involved in in the sand distributing the jerseys. It’s a feeling I can’t programs for newcomers, and have her soccer project describe. It makes all the hard work worth it. All the move beyond Senegal. “I would like every child in hours you put in to doing this, the moment you see the world to have a soccer uniform and a ball to play the kids and how happy they are – it’s all worth it.” with. Every child deserves to act like a child, and that When Turkstra returned last year without any is priceless.” jerseys to share, the children were disappointed. She promised to return with more, which is when her appeal began. She sent out a letter to her daughter’s 1. What did Jetta do to get more teams, other coaches, Sir William Osler Elementary jerseys for the children in School, and attendees at the end-of-season tournament. Senegal? “I had tons of people donate and wonderful parents 2. What is Jetta’s goal for the volunteer. People donated uniforms, shin pads, cleats future? and soccer balls. Someone even brought a first aid kit.” LINC 4+ She received a total of close to 1,600 both used and Discussion: Why do you think new uniforms as well as 100 soccer balls, 200 cleats, having soccer jerseys is important for the children in Senegal? 50 shin pads, 200 pairs of soccer socks and four pairs of goalie gloves. On top of that community members
Ayda Silva de Del Prete Ayda Silva de Del Prete remembers her childhood fondly. Strength and spirituality were two virtues her parents held closely, which manifested into a peaceful upbringing. “We were very close, and there weren’t many difficulties,” she explains. Del Prete now spends her days encouraging other families and individuals to find wholeness and happiness so that they can find the warmth that she experienced. After arriving in Canada from Venezuela in 2008, she, her husband and three daughters stayed at a shelter. She noticed that many newcomers living there were experiencing loneliness and depression. In spite of not having access to many resources at the time, she wanted to have a positive influence in their lives. Soon after, she made a calendar that contained pictures, inspirational quotes, tips, and holiday cheer to hand out. “I took pictures of people at the shelter for the calendar so people could remember that even though we have left our homes, we can unite and find community together in this beautiful country.” After leaving the shelter, she decided to continue creating and distributing materials that “would make a difference in people’s lives.” She started making pamphlets and giving them to people in her community as well as different Latin stores throughout Hamilton. “It filled many people’s lives with happiness. I started to see changes within individuals so I decided to
has now joined numerous committees including the Latin American Women’s Association, Asociacion Fraternidad Hispana, Committee of Immigrants, and Movimiento Familiar Cristiano. Through
“We motivate people to eliminate their fear and increase their self esteem” these organizations she has been able to encourage more newcomer families as well as provide key information about opportunities in Hamilton. “It’s not only that newcomers need knowledge about available resources, but also to know their own capacity. We motivate people to eliminate their fear and increase their self-esteem.” Del Prete looks forward to staying involved in Hamilton’s newcomer community. She remains grateful for the opportunities she has experienced, and looks forward to future opportunities to serve the community.
continue my labour of love.” The main goal of her project was to empower and encourage women to create happiness in their environment and home. She often included tips on being a good mother and wife, and ways of easing the process of integration into Canadian culture. Continuing to serve her community, Del Prete
1. What was the main goal of Ayda’s project? 2. What are two of the committees Ayda has joined? Discussion: What kind of project would you create to motivate people and increase their self-esteem?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb 2011 • p.7
Yvonne Maracle When Yvonne Maracle became a mother at twenty-five, something changed. She had always been interested in learning more about her native heritage, but the desire to increase her involvement in the native community grew inside her. “As an aboriginal woman, I wanted my daughter to learn more about our culture,” she explains. “It can be hard in the city; to learn more you have to search out and get involved with agencies, people and events.” Growing up in the city, Maracle had a lot of questions about her culture, and learned she would have to search to find the answers. When she was young, she lacked positive role models in her community. “There were a lot of stereotypes,” she explains. “I didn’t learn positive examples in the school system. I was cut off from native people on the reserve, and our ceremonies, culture and teaching were not as accessible.” She soon found out, she was not alone. “There were other people looking for the same kind of things.” She was able to connect others who had a similar longing, and has since become very active in the Hamilton native community. The National Aboriginal Day Festival has been one avenue that Maracle has been able to both learn and encourage others to engage in native culture. Marking June 21 as National Aboriginal Solidarity Day, the multi-day festival is held at Gage Park annually to celebrate Hamilton’s aboriginal community and culture. Traditional dancing, arts and crafts, vendors, traditional storytellers, musicians, and native foods are available as community members celebrate together. “The majority of people who come are from the aboriginal community but we try very hard to open it up to others who have an interest in native culture. It was a celebration for us. It still continues. We’ve done this every year, for the last fifteen years.” Out of the fifteen, she has helped organize twelve, and continues to advise and train others when she is
Jeanette Eby “I think I’ve always had a desire to get to know my city and my community and feel connected to something,” says Jeanette Eby. “It was natural for me when I came to Hamilton. I like finding value in places that have a negative reputation so I was naturally intrigued by downtown and wanted to get involved.” Eby first moved to Hamilton to attend McMaster University in the Arts & Sciences program. In her third year she decided to settle in the city core, and has been living there since. Although she is now completing a time-consuming masters program, her dedication to community engagement has only increased. The most prominent initiatives she is involved in
unable to commit to organizing. “Our goal for this event is to bring more awareness to National Aboriginal Day to the community at large and give the local aboriginal community something to be proud of,” she notes. But she does not leave this advocacy for once a year, Maracle has also volunteered numerous times as the coordinator for the Native float at the Santa Claus Parade. Fundraising, writing grants, coordinating meetings, organizing volunteers, and planning events are just a few of the things she has done to prepare for the float. “It’s a long process,” she says. With a longstanding interest in the arts, Maracle was also a co-founder of the Native Indian Inuit Photographer’s Association, also known as Niipa Gallery, which existed from 1985-1999. “I was interested in my culture, and wanted to learn more about traditional ways. I wanted to get more involved with Native people in general and see the bigger picture that native people play in the environment and world.” A photographer herself, she was able to use her artistic gifts to network and encourage many native artists. Maracle now works as an Apatisiwin Employment Counsellor at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre. Her longstanding commitment to the organization is demonstrated in her fourteen-year term on the Board of Directors. She served many roles from secretary to president, and has found herself doing what she enjoys as a career since 2003. “I probably have about 25 years experience in the aboriginal community in Hamilton,” explains Maracle. “Interacting with other native people and learning more about my culture inspires me, as does the sense of being proud of who I am.” Now, Maracle is both a grandmother to one and an auntie to eighteen, and is proudly passing on her culture to the next generations.
are the Beasley Neighbourhood Association, Friends of the Farmer’s Market, and various programs at the Freeway Cafe. But her involvement doesn’t stop there. Eby has also volunteered with the Photovoice project of the CCMA, the Beasley Breakfast program, and Ninos con Valor, an orphanage in Bolivia. With the Beasley Neighbourhood Association, Eby helps to organize activities that encourage comradery in her neighbourhood. “We do a summer barbeque with sports, games and bingo, workshops, movie nights and more… We have a vision for our neighbourhood and want to see everyone use their skills and passions and know they are valuable.” The Friends of Hamilton Farmer’s Market came together after numerous long-term vendors at the market found they had been denied a spot in the new renovated location. “We wanted to make sure that it stays a place where everyone can buy food, people find community and vendors are supported. We want the market to be a common place for the common good…A really special community has been formed between customers and vendors. We have been supporting each other throughout this thing. We’ve had our voices heard and we’ve had a lot of changes.” At the Freeway Cafe, she volunteers with monthly movie matinees, senior socials, arts & crafts nights, and community nights. Senior socials and community nights were initiated after Eby noticed a gap in programming. “The Freeway is a safe place where regulars find a sense of community,” she notes.
“The feeling of connection and community always inspires me.” She has also assisted with art shows displayed at the café featuring the Photovoice project highlighting the work of the senior group, youth from Eva Rothwell centre, and children from Ninos con Valor. “The feeling of connection and community always inspires me. Being amazed by how much I can learn from people who are different from me is very refreshing. Meeting people from all ages and social groups keeps me doing things,” she explains. Finding inspiration in many places, Eby aims to
1. What barriers did Yvonne face as a youth?
2. What is the goal of the National Aboriginal Day Festival in Gage Park?
Discussion: Why do you think it is important to pass on culture and traditions to the young? What are ways you hope to do this in your culture? What have you already done?
exemplify her mother, who she describes as a very giving, caring person. “She taught me to always listen and build friendships, and be open to all different kinds of people.” But when she has been most inspired to work for change in her community was during multiple trips to Ninos con Valor. For a total of nine months, Eby worked at the orphanage doing English classes, special outings and day-to-day care. She describes her experience as one that “really drove me to become more involved in Hamilton. I was feeling very lost coming back from such an inspirational trip. I was wondering how I could carry that out in Hamilton and become involved and stay active.” With so many involvements, Eby has had to learn to refrain from spreading herself too thin. “I’ve had to learn balance and to be able to fully commit to things. It’s not helpful if I’m pulled in many different directions. If I see an opportunity and feel pulled toward something that’s happening in Hamilton I’ll jump on board, but I am committed to what I’m currently doing.” Central to all of her community involvements, is the belief that she cannot do things on her own. Eby has found the importance of having a supportive team and community in everything she does. For now, Eby is focusing on completing her program and working part-time for Good Shepherd Services. She is settled in Hamilton, and hopes eventually to make a living doing the community organizing that she loves.
1. Why did the Friends of Hamilton Farmers’ Market come together?
2. What work did Jeanette do in Ninos con Valor?
Discussion: Are you involved with your neighborhood or neighborhood association? What activities would you like to see in your neighborhood to promote community?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.8
Catalysts for community Continued from page 7
Basharat Tayyab When Basharat Tayyab began noticing a trend in the low confidence of women in her community, she was concerned. “Why do women not think of themselves as strong, brave, and confident?” she asked. Without hesitation, she turned her frustration into action. “I thought somebody needed to take the leadership role and motivate these women to assert their rights as human beings,” she explained. “Because I already had a background in Islamic Feminism, I had the academic knowledge so I started applying it to working in the community and championing the cause of Islamic women.” It was soon after that Basharat began the Muslim Women Council of Hamilton, a group dedicated to engaging Muslim women with the larger Hamilton community. The group aims to educate women about their civic rights and duties, and break down the barriers that they may face because of their cultural backgrounds. “Our idea is not just to educate, but to engage women in community acts and activity through events,” she mentions. Through this framework, the council has planned a number of events over the last two years that bring women together for networking, discussion and celebration. Mother’s Day and Eid have become two annual events that have given movement to the council’s mission. What has been most encouraging for Tayyab is seeing the positive change in the lives of participants first-hand. “Usually these women don’t want to participate in events apart from their husbands and families. Now they are coming out into the community having their own time and enjoying themselves. I see that newcomer women are really realizing that what they used to think about the roles of women is changing. They are realizing that the role of women is not just restricted to their home, but to work and community life.” Her community involvement in Hamilton has
Devon Ridge As a fifth generation Hamiltonian, Devon Ridge has come to know her city well. After spending a few years at the University of Guleph, she is now using her knowledge to work for social change and deepen her relationship with the city’s land and people. Ridge has put down roots in the Jamesville neighbourhood, where she lives and volunteers. Currently, she works on the Jamesville Planning Team and runs the afterschool program in the Jamesville
extended far beyond the Council. She has volunteered for the Status of Women Committee, Anti-Racism Committee, the Centre for Civic Inclusion, Settlement and Integration Services Organization, and SACHA. Before moving to Hamilton in 1997, she completed her doctoral education in Pakistan and spent time in the United States doing seminars and lectures on an exchange scholarship. It was there where she was first encouraged to tailor her specialty to Islamic feminist philosophy by feminist thinker and professor, Iris Young. When her husband decided to come to Canada to study, she chose to explore professional opportunities for herself and spent time as a sessional professor at York, Western, Sheridan, and McMaster, while raising her two children. Integrating into Canadian life was not without its struggles. Despite her achievements, Tayyab had difficulty finding employment. The limitations of having a disability combined with the uniqueness of her academic field, she soon realized how restricted her options were. Sessional professorship gave her great experience in the short-term but was not satisfying as a long-term career. Being albinic, which is classified as a disability, meant the colder climate was an advantage but data-entry, sales, and factory work were not an option. She then returned to school and completed her second masters degree, focusing on Islamic feminist philosophy. Unfortunately employment was still challenging to acquire, so she changed her career goals and began dedicating her time to community initiatives. Finding inspiration from key women leaders in the Hamilton community, Tayyab was encouraged by Denise Doyle of the YWCA and Madine Wasuge, former executive director of HCCI. Both women encouraged her in activism and advocacy, increasing her confidence level and offering volunteer opportunities to give her practical experience. In the future, Tayyab hopes to create more platforms for empowerment for newcomer women in Hamilton. “I really want to have an education circle and workshop on human rights for newcomer women
Community Centre. She has found the Centre to be an inspiring example of a dynamic community with successful programming, resources and assets. At the after-school program, children are given assistance with homework, indoor and outdoor physical activity, and are taught practical life skills. Unique to its structure is the snack program, where kids are involved in planning their meals and snacks based on healthy food choices. Ridge sees connecting with children and youth as crucial to long-term social change. “I’m really inspired by the agency of young people. There’s definitely a lot of apathy about making positive change. But looking to the resiliency and passion of youth, and really listening to their dreams for the world are some ways to challenge the mediocrity of the status quo,” she explains. With a longtime passion for environmental justice, Ridge has naturally found a home in the Knowing the Land is Resistance Collective, a group dedicated to learning and educating others about the remaining Carolinian forest of Southern Ontario and the local land base. She notes, “We are looking to create a culture of connection to the natural world, which I think is a really great place to guide us as we look to create a better world.” The collective does workshops, hikes and explores tools for cultivating a connection to nature. They also remain active in local struggles to “protect the land from mindless development and destruction.” Ridge is confident that “there is a connection between the forces that cut down all the ancient forests of this land and those that fragment our communities and exploit marginalized people today.” Through this understanding, she integrates environmental justice philosophy with her work resisting the continued oppression of marginalized peoples. Recognizing and eliminating this oppression is not easy, or glamorous. She explains, “It requires
that feel their status in society is lesser than men.” She continues, “I would like to hold regular workshops, training sessions and discussions where these women can see their own potential and get involved in the community. ”
1. What are the goals of the Muslim Women Council of Hamilton?
2. What were some of the challenges Basharat faced when she came to Canada?
Discussion: What do you think of the projects Basharat would like to run in the future? What kind of project like this would you like to see?
tremendous commitment to reinvent social relations beyond political rhetoric.” Her experience working as the Program Coordinator for the Facilitating Inclusion Cooperative and Facilitator at the Hamilton Freeskool has given her a platform to continue working for these changes. The Facilitating Inclusion cooperative is dedicated to spreading the knowledge of anti-oppression practices throughout the Hamilton community. Through this cooperative, she works to increase inclusion of people who may not be involved in projects based on language or cultural barriers. Ridge’s commitment to community development through various outlets is demonstrated through her
“It requires tremendous commitment to reinvent social relations beyond political rhetoric.” involvements. Her primary aspiration is to “continue to support initiatives that truly grow health for the city and the needs of the people who live here; that have the health of the community as a focus instead of outside interests or corporate, commercial or political interests.”
1. What are two of the projects or programs that Devon is involved with? 2. What is one of Devon’s goals?
Discussion: Which of the projects that Devon works on seems the most interesting or important to you? Why?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb 2011 • p.9
Women are talking about...
Continued from page 1 If detained refugee claimants are granted refugee status, the bill prohibits them from becoming permanent residents of Canada - and therefore being able to sponsor family members to this country - for five years. Given that processing for landing and sponsoring close family members already takes 2 to 5 years, this will mean that refugee families could be separated from loved ones for up to 10 years. All of this is contrary to current Canadian law. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms forbids arbitrary detention and discrimination. The Supreme Court of Canada found in 2007 that even in security risk cases, there had to be immediate and meaningful review of detention. The UN Convention on Refugees, of which Canada is a signing member, forbids the punishment of refugees for using illegal means to reach a safe haven. It also requires member countries to work to reunify refugee families as quickly as possible. The Canadian Council for Refugees has launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about Bill C-49. The Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, in collaboration with the Immigrant Women’s Centre, North Hamilton Community Health Centre and the Francophone Community Heath Centre, collected over 100 signatures voicing opposition to the bill. The signatures were presented to Hamilton Mountain NDP MP Chris Charlton on Dec. 20. Around the same time, the Liberal party joined the NDP and the Bloc in declaring their intention to defeat Bill C-49. The government insists it will put the bill to a vote. If Ottawa wants to address the problem of people-smuggling, punishing refugees and others who use smugglers is not the answer. The bill won’t stop refugees from fleeing, it will just prolong and make their insecurity worse.
1. Why is Bill C-49 controversial?
2. Who launched a campaign to raise awareness about the bill?
Discussion: What do you think would be a better way to try and stop human smuggling? Why?
What role do women play in the education of youth? Here’s what Women at the Hamilton Freeskool Do-It-Yourself Screenprinting Workshop had to say:
Tricia “Everybody needs to be represented equally and women have a lot to bring to the table. Some of the most influential role models are found in education. Culturally speaking, women often spend more time with the young so they know how they learn and what they respond to.”
Stephany Mercado “I think women in education is important so young girls have someone they can relate to. It opens the path to empowerment. If youth see a woman leading, they know they can do it too. Personally, I feel empowered when I have women teachers because I know what I am capable of.”
Natalie Thomson “There is still not enough variety of women role models in the media, which means it is important these role models are found elsewhere. We could still use many more intelligent, independent, and funny women as role models for young girls.”
Rachel Nolan “Gathering all perspectives is important. It would be a gross negligence to leave out an entire gender. Obviously women have a very important role in education for this reason. “
Ruth McCallum “It is important for women to pass down knowledge and skills to younger people so they can keep those traditions alive. Women are instrumental in passing on these skills.”
Jennifer Fleming “To provide a role model of a women who is something more than an object. Many kids associate women as ‘mom’, the provider. Having the opportunity to see women in a different role, as an educator, is important. ”
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Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.10
Ones to watch for
Home Safe Hamilton Andrea Buttars, Special Events Coordinator at Wesley Urban Ministries Home Safe Hamilton is part of a series of documentaries investigating why so many Canadian families with children are living with the threat of homelessness or inadequate housing. Produced by SkyWorks Charitable Foundation in 2010, the documentary focuses on the stories and experiences of those living in poverty and the fear of homelessness in Hamilton. While the documentary provides the facts of why many people experience unstable housing, such as changes in the industrial sector, discrimination, systemic barriers and the lack of affordable housing, the focus is on five personal stories. We meet Shannon on the picket line, struggling with the threat of losing her job and worrying about feeding her children. Shamso, from the Somali Community, speaks about the discrimination newcomers experience when seeking affordable housing. Tuyet and Ynhi, students at Sir John A MacDonald, show the struggle and strength of young people trying to make good decisions. The filmmakers Laura
The Book of Negroes Rosemary Aswani, Settlement Counsellor at St Joseph Immigrant Women’s Centre
Sky and David Adkin have done an exceptional job showing the determination of those economically, socially and culturally displaced. The documentary is 86 minutes but the stories are divided into chapters that can be used for small group discussions. Home Safe Hamilton challenges everyone in our community to work together and create safe homes and community where we can all belong. This is a powerful and important message, critical to Wesley Urban Ministries and other agencies that work to ensure everyone in Hamilton has equal access to safe housing. For more information visit www.skyworksfoundation. org or www.wesleyurbanministries.ca
The Book of Negroes is about a young African girl whose peaceful village life is suddenly shuttered by the murder of her parents by slave traders who invade the village and capture Aminata Diallo, the heroine in the book. We first meet Aminata as an old woman in London where she is partnering with abolitionists to depict the cruelty and inhumanity of slave trade. She writes: “Let me begin with a caveat to any and all who find these pages. Do not trust large bodies of water, do not cross them. If you, dear reader, have an African hue and find yourself led toward water with vanishing shores, seize your freedom by any means necessary.” The author takes the reader on a slave trade voyage through the eyes of a child, and although the brutality of the slave trade in which millions of Africans perished is well documented, the historical facts in this book will educate and enlighten the reader on African spirituality/religion, education, family structure and culture. The reader will be completely absorbed into the characters, times and places of the struggle for survival and freedom. These characters encourage us to consider the realities of the time, and the limitations of people, both Black and White, trying to survive with some shred of humanity left intact. Although this book is very much about the racism and discrimination of the eighteenth century, it is also about strength of a woman who endures despite physical and sexual violence, emotional abandonment, and the hardships of poverty no matter where she turns. Aminata’s losses are heartbreaking, but her ability to survive and reach out to others despite unthinkable cruelty is inspirational. The author has adopted the African story-telling tradition which addresses the reader directly. The story is gripping, entertaining and educational and the language seems geared toward a young or inexperienced reader.
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Family Day festivities Take a break from the hustle and bustle of life this family day and see more of what Hamilton has to offer. A must-see exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton is Diane Landry’s The Defibrillators. A leading figure in Québec contemporary art, Landry recycles, transforms, manipulates and falsifies everyday objects into a playful environment of sights, sounds, and emotions. Also at the AGH will be a video exhibition featuring the work of three North African artists - Yto Barrada, Bouchra Khalili and Djamel Kokene – who reside in France. Emerging from an Afro-European context, their work explores the very idea of France as a concept. Guerilla theatre, documentary film, and narrative storytelling are used as they encourage viewers to consider the relationship between individuals and the state; culture and law; and identity and modes of representation. Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens to hear the melodic sounds of nature in the exhibit Wild Music. Exploring the biological origin of music, this interactive display examines the world where whales compose, bullfrogs chorus, songbirds greet the dawn and people everywhere sing and dance. While you are there, stop by to see Glass under Glass featuring shining examples of glass art created by Ontario artists, all inside a glass house in the blooming Mediterranean Garden. Explore black history at the Griffin House National Historic Site and walk along the paths of the Dundas Valley. This 19th century home stands as a testament to the strength and bravery of black Canadians who sought freedom in Ontario. Enjoy apple cider as you celebrate and remember Black History Month. Celebrate Family Day and Heritage Day together at the Westfield Heritage Village. This unique event will focus on the shared experience of Hamilton’s multi-cultural community as we celebrate heritage from countries around the world through fun family activities. Experience Kidfest - Hamilton’s largest indoor inflatable show taking place at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Bounce, laugh, play, and run in 40,000 square feet of excitement. Laser tag, rock climbing, face painting, and stage shows will happen from February 19-21. Discover the Victorian art of paper flower making at Dundurn Castle. Paper flowers are a welcome symbol of spring for those suffering from the winter blues. You’ll return home with a cheerful creation to brighten your home. For public swimming and skating visit one of Hamilton’s thirty-six community centres and skating rinks that will be open. Some will be offering crafts, science games, table tennis, movies and more. Contact your local community centre to check your local schedule. - The Women’s Press
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb 2011 • p.11
How-to: make your home energy efficient for winter
Dropping temperatures and rising energy bills affect your life significantly, which is why it is important to take the necessary steps to make your home energy efficient for the winter. Whether you rent or own, live in an apartment or house, there are many things you can do to reduce the cost of utilities and increase comfort in your home. 1) Cover & Seal your Windows - $5 Covering your windows with a sheet of plastic can stop drafts from entering your home. You can purchase plastic from any hardware stores or department store, and hang it up with either tacks or duct tape. For a cheaper alternative, you can also hang heavy blankets over the window to ensure no cold air finds its way in. By eliminating the window draft you will stop the cold air from entering and help the heat to stay. 2) Weather-strip your Doors $10-25 Exterior doors are another area most drafts seem to be able to seep in, which is why it is important to put weather-stripping around them. Check to see if all your doors edges are sealed correctly. You can buy heavy foam strips to place around the edges of your doors to insulate them properly. Weather-stripping is also available in vinyl bulb and wood, thin bronze or brass; however, these strips, although more durable, are also more difficult to install and may require hired
help. You can also place blankets over doors at night.
caulking can be peeled off when it is no longer needed.
3) Turn heat down and bundle up - Free Turn down the temperature when people are sleeping at night or not home during the day. Rather than turning up your heat when you are cold, try putting on a sweater, putting on slippers and wearing warm socks. Put rugs on hardwood or tile floors to reduce the cold, and keep a blanket handy for when you’re sitting on the couch.
6) Close vents, Clear Radiators - Free Close any vents and doors going to rooms that are not used regularly. Do not block radiators with furniture, rugs, or curtains. Doing so can easily cut 100-200 square feet off of your energy footprint. This still uses energy but disables you from reaping the benefits of the warmth.
4) Leave Oven Open after Baking – Free After baking cookies or making dinner in the oven and turning it off, leave the door open and allow the heat to escape. Allowing the heat to escape will help to warm up the kitchen and surrounding rooms, putting the heat to use. Since the oven energy is already being used, it does not increase your energy bill but instead maximizes its use. 5) Caulk cracks in exterior - $3-10 Use silicone or caulking to fill any cracks in doors, windows, basement floors and walls. Gaps are often left between baseboards and hard floors, such as tile, hardwood, or laminate flooring. These gaps can be neatly filled with latex caulk, preventing air from entering the home. You can use a caulking gun or “temporary” caulking to seal up the cracks. Temporary
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7) Monitor your Window Shades - Free Open window shades where sunlight can shine in during the day and close them at night. This will allow the sun to warm up your living space, as well as keep heat from escaping at night. - The Women’s Press 1.What are two ways you can stop losing heat (or letting in cold) through your doors or windows?
2. How can you maximize the heat from cooking in your oven?
Discussion: What have you done to conserve energy in your home? Which of the things mentioned above will you try?
End your fear of the phone! LINC Telephone Skills Program. Next Session starts April 4. Weekdays, 9 am - 12 pm, at 8 Main St. E. Call Vivyan at 905-529-5209 x233
Find a job! Work & Career workshops.
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Career Exploration session: March 9, from 10 am - 12 pm at 1119 Fennell Ave E. Resume & Cover Letter session: February 21 & 22, 9 am to 4 pm at 1119 Fennell Ave East. Call Rosemary at 905-387-1100 x222.
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Financial Literacy for Women: Next 6-week session starts March 1 at 9 Main Street At 8 Main Street East East. Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9 am - 12 pm. Call Nabila at 905-529-5209 x261. March 7 & 11. Call Lina at 905-529-5209 x247 for an appointment.
Explore your talents & skills: Enterprising Women Program February 14 - March 25. Monday - Friday, 9 am - 12 pm at the Montcalm Community House (West Mountain). Call Erika at 905-529-5209 x 223
Build confidence, get the job: LINC Communiation for Employment Next 6-week program starts February 14, ends March 31, runs weekdays from 1 pm - 4 pm at 8 Main St. E. Call Vivyan at 905-529-5209 x233
Learn to drive & build independence: G1 Driving club. At 8 Main Street East
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March 21, 23, and 25. Call Ahlam at 905-387-1100 x230 for an appointment. At 182 Rebecca Street
March 14, 16 & 18. Call Doris @ 905-525-9676 x225 for an appointment.
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Drop in, every Tuesday from 4 - 6 pm, until February 15, at 182 Rebecca Street. Call Joyce at 905-525-9676 x221. Susan’s Story Time
February 8 - 24, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1 pm - 3 pm. Following session: March For kids grades 3-8, parents welcome too! Every Friday, 4 – 5 pm at 182 Rebecca 8 - 24, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1 pm - 3 pm. Call Vivyan at 905-529-5209 x233 Street. Call Joyce at 905-525-9676 x221. At 182 Rebecca Street
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Starts in February. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4 - 6 pm. Call Joyce at 905-525-9676 Math Homework Club for kids grades 4 - 5. Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30 - 5 x221. pm at the Montcalm Community House, 45 Montcalm Dr. # 43. Improve your computer skills! Gain new skills: At 8 Main Street East
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MS PowerPoint: February 9 - 25, Wednesdays & Fridays, 9:30 am - 12 pm. Basic Next session starts in March. Every Wednesday, 5:30 - 7:30 pm. $30.00 material fee. Widows XP & Internet: March 9 - 25, Wednesdays & Fridays, 9:30 am -12 pm. Call Joyce at 905-525-9676 x221 QuickBooks Refresher: 6-week program starts in February date and time TBD. Learn to Sew! Call Vivyan at 905.529.5209 X 233 Basic Sewing Skills, starts in February. Call Joyce at 905-525-9676 x221. At 1119 Fennell Ave East First Aid Training & Certification Microsoft Word: February 14 – March 16, Mondays & Wednesdays, 12:30 - 3 pm. Starts in February. Call Joyce at 905-525-9676 x221. Call Ahlam at 905-387-1100 x230
Be Well! Health and Wellness information sessions. Preventing & Getting Rid of Bed Bugs: Februarys 25, from 10:30 to 11:30 am & Februarys 28, From 1 - 2 pm. Call Ahlam at 905-387-1100 X 230
Food Handling Certificate
Starts in February. Call Joyce at 905-525-9676 x221.
The Bridge for IMGs
Parenting - Guiding Children’s Behaviours: February 9 & 16, 10 am - 12 pm & Bridging program for International Medical Graduates at 182 Rebecca Street, every Wednesday, 5 – 8 pm. Call Joyce at 905-525-9676. March 10, from 10 am - 12 pm. Call Luz or Kat at 905-387-1100 x227
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 9 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.12
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