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Special youth edition




“Using the power of the pen to facilitate smooth integration for immigrants into the Canadian society.”

Hear What We Have to Say !!! Youth

opinions about themselves are very crucial to the community they live in. The Voice in Diaspora took this opportunity of our ‘special youth edition’ to hear what some youth have to say about who they are and what they believe in. Read on… ∞ continued on page 

Administrative Professionals’ Day Administrative Professionals’ Day formerly known as Secretary’s Day is an unofficial secular holiday observed on the Wednesday of the last full week of April

(i.e. April 26, 2006; April 25, 2007; April 23, 2008), to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, reception-

ists, and other administrative support professionals. National Secretaries Week was created in 1952 through the work of Harry F. Klemfuss of Young & Rubicam, in conjunction with the National Secretaries Association, now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). His goal was to encourage more people to consider careers in the secretarial/administrative support field. Using his skill and experience in public relations, Klemfuss promoted the values and importance of the job of administrative assistants. In doing so, he also created the holiday in recognition of the importance of administrative assistants. ∞ continued on page 

Youth Initiatives Each month, from September to June, two students are selected as ‘Mayor for a Day’. Students are chosen based on answers to a questionnaire available to all middle and high school students in the Greater Hamilton Area. Selected students assist the Mayor in his duties for one day. As part of their experience, the ‘Mayors for a Day’ are introduced to Ward Councillors and city staff during a Committee of the Whole meeting. The students also tour various municipal sites and are presented with special certificates acknowledging their participation in the ‘Mayor for a Day’ program.

Origin of April Fools’ Day April fools’ Day has come and gone, yet, it is good to know how this famous custom came about. Its origins are unknown, and a matter of much debate. It is likely a relic of the once common festivities held on the vernal equinox, which began on the 25th of March, old New Year’s Day, and ended on the 2nd of April. The first day of April is known the world over as a day people play practical jokes on others for fun. April fool’s Day resembles the Hilaria festival of ancient Rome (March 25) and the Holi festival of India (ending March 31). The custom of playing April Fools’ jokes was brought to America by the British. Though the 1st of April appears to have been observed as a general festival in Great Britain in antiquity, it was apparently not until the beginning of the 18th century that the making of April-fools was a common cus ∞ continued on page 

Are You an Employer look ing to hire a student in your community at no cost to you? Page 3

lege to have some of Hamilton’s brightest young people assist me in my duties as Mayor for a day each month,” said Mayor Eisenberger. “It is my hope that the experience is rewarding and educational and will lead these students to one day feel the inspiration to perhaps run for public office in the future. I look forward to hearing the ideas and opinions of our young people on how we can work together to make Hamilton an even better place to live.” ‘Mayor for a Day’ is part of the Mayor’s Youth Initiative and is open to all students in the Greater Hamilton area Mayor Eisenberger

“It is an honour and privi-

∞ continued on page 14

Spring, Rejuvenation, Colour, Rebirth and Revitalization… These are a few of the reasons many people look forward to the month of April! However, for the people of South East Asia, April is an auspicious month for various reasons. April not only marks the end of the cold, dull, dreary winter season but it is also the start of the New Year for many. Many people will celebrate the harvest festival known as Baisakhi. It marks the time for the harvest of winter crops and is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving in some regions. People give thanks for the rich harvest and seek blessings for the ensuing agricultural season.

names in different parts of India such as: Rongali Bihu in Assam, Puthandu in Tamil Naidu, Vishu in Kerala, and Poila Boishakh in West Bangal. In Punjab the air will be filled with invigorating drums, scintillating music, traditional songs and dances as the community celebrates the Festival of Baisakhi. In Bangladesh the harvest festival is known as Poila Baisakh and is celebrated as a national holiday. Vesak as it is known by Sinhalese, is an annual holiday observed by practicing Buddhists and is celebrated in countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar.

As a harvest festival, Baisakhi is also celebrated under different names and rituals in many countries. It goes by different

All over South East Asia these festivals

Youth Employability Skills Program-AAT School Page 3 Today’s Youth Techno Crazy Page 4

Youth in Motion Page 5 Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program Page 5

∞ continued on page 13

SISO Calendar- April 2008 Page 10 Ramnavami Page 11 True Story of a Banker (Mantee) Page 13

The Voice in Diaspora


P.O. Box 417 Hamilton, Ontario Tel: 905.920.1752 - Fax: 905.769.5483

The focus for this month’s edition is on the youth. It is a phase of life front with un-imaginable storms for both the young person and the society. When youths are not challenged, equipped and guided to paths that ensure acceptability of civic and personal responsibilities, the society suffers as a consequence. What the society fractures in our youths through negligible acts of not heeding to theoretical and practical solutions to youth problems, will not take only well tailored youth programs and services to correct. Some people might argue this fact. However, it remains that we have work at hand to do to ensure our youth turn out to be good leaders of tomorrow. A stitch in time saves nine, they say. Youth phase has in it the adolescence and young adult’s age groups. Thus, youths are cut in the middle between what the society requires from them as adults and how they are comfortable being treated as children devoid of any societal consequences for misdeeds. No wonder it is always a struggle for the youth to keep and maintain that balance. Many theoretical explanations as to the cause of the turbulences that characterize the lives of the youth have done little to provide answers to problems the youth face today. Youth problems cut across ethnic, racial, religious, socio-economic, and gender lines. However, youths who are new immigrants to any society face far bigger problems than imagined due to a number of issues. They could be going through peer pressures; language difficulties; cultural shock; family separations; anxiety over losing old friends; poverty; personality/identity crises etc. It is very important to have structured programs and services that are youth-focused and culturally sensitive to address some if not all the problems faced by the youth in our society today. Hence, the Voice in Diaspora has devoted April as the month to feature youth issues, especially immigrant youths. Some well-meaning organizations are committed to excellent services for youths in Hamilton and environs. Organizations like SISO, AAT School, HCCI, are trends setters in keeping the youths meaningfully engaged through programs that instil civic/personal responsibilities in them. More organizations in and around Hamilton are doing so, and are encouraged to do more especially in programs and services that support diversity. If you are an organization that work with the youth and would like to share your services and programs with the public, let us hear from you. Thanks Veronica Chris-Ike (Publisher/Editor) The Voice in Diaspora

Our Mission Using the power of the pen to facilitate smooth integration for immigrants into the Canadian society.

Publisher/Editor Veronica Chris-Ike

Art & Creative Design Jihan C. Aydin www . A4AMEDIA . com

Advertising & Marketing Contact Us @ 905.920.1752

Contributors Roberto Lavidez, Swami Kripamayananda, Ghulam Ali Mohatarem, Llody Kibaara, Terri Smith, Nica Brown,Veronica Chris-Ike SISO (Settlement and Integration Services Organization)

Publication will be done Monthly. 5000 Free copies will be distributed to businesses, shopping malls, churches, Non-profit organizations, adult learning centers, etc, in Hamilton and environs. The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper is published and distributed monthly free of charge. The views expressed by writers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper or SISO. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior permission is prohibited. The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper & SISO is not responsible for the accuracy of informa-

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April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6

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...continued from page 1

Administrative Professionals’ Day The official period of appreciation/ ”celebration” was first proclaimed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer as “National Secretaries Week,” which was held June 1-7 in 1952, with Wednesday,

June 4, 1952 designated National Secretaries Day. The first Secretaries’ Day was held in that year by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, with the support of an association of corporate groups.

In 1955, the observance date of National Secretaries Week was moved to the last full week of April. The name was changed to Professional Secretaries Week in 1981, and became Administrative Professionals Week in 2000 to encompass the expanding responsibilities and wide-ranging job titles of administrative support staff. Over the years, Administrative Professionals Week has become one of the largest workplace observances. The event is “celebrated” worldwide, bringing together millions of people for community events, social gatherings, and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff with gifts of appreciation. In the United States, the day is often “celebrated” by giving one’s assistant flowers, candy, small gifts, lunch at a restaurant, and time off. ■ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

...continued from page 

Origin of April Fools’ Day tom. In Scotland the custom was known as “hunting the gowk,” i.e. the cuckoo, and April-fools were “April-gowks,” the cuckoo being a term of contempt, as it is in many countries. One of the earliest connections of the day with fools is Chaucer’s story the Nun’s Priest’s Tale (c.1400), which concerns two fools and takes place “thritty dayes and two” from the beginning of March, which is April 1. The significance of this is difficult to determine. Europe may have derived its April-fooling from the French. French and Dutch references from 1508 and 1539 respectively describe April Fools’ Day jokes and the custom of making them on the first of April. France was one of the first nations to make January 1 officially New Year’s Day (which was already celebrated by many), by decree of Charles IX. This was in 1564, even before the 1582 adoption of the Gregorian calendar (See Julian start of the year). Thus the New Year’s gifts and visits of felicitation which had been the feature of the 1st of April became associated with the first day of January, and those who disliked or did not hear about the change were fair game for those wits who amused themselves by sending mock presents and

paying calls of pretended ceremony on the 1st of April. In France the person fooled is known as poisson d’avril (April fish). This has been explained as arising from the fact that in April the sun quits the zodiacal sign of the fish. The French traditionally celebrated this holiday by placing dead fish on the backs of friends. Today, real fish have been replaced with sticky, fish-shaped paper cut-outs that children try to sneak onto the back of their friends’ shirts. Candy shops and bakeries also offer fish-shaped sweets for the holiday. Some Dutch also celebrate the 1st of April for other reasons. In 1572, the Netherlands were ruled by Spain’s King Philip II. Roaming the region were Dutch rebels who called themselves Geuzen, after the French “gueux,” meaning beggars. On April 1, 1572, the Geuzen seized the small coastal town of Den Briel. This event was also the start of the general civil rising against the Spanish in other cities in the Netherlands. The Duke of Alba, commander of the Spanish army could not prevent the uprising. Bril is the Dutch word for glasses, so on April 1, 1572, “Alba lost his glasses.” The Dutch commemorate this with humor on the first of April. ■ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Are You an Employer looking to hire a student in your community at no cost to you?

Summer Jobs for Youth is designed to assist youth 15 to 18 years of age acquire workplace skills through summer employment for a 6-week work placement during the months of July and August.

For further information and on how to apply please call your local Youth Services agency, please see list below:

It’s a win-win for employers and young people alike. As an employer, you can save time and money through a fully subsidized summer employment program, and help young people in your community gain valuable work experience.

London: Youth Opportunities Unlimited - (519) 432-1112

All we ask is that you find meaningful work that will help our youth learn and gain experience in a 35 hour work week. We will provide the training and organize payroll ... all you need to do is find youths a valuable job that they can do! ...continued from page 

Hamilton YMCA of Hamilton / Burlington - (905) 681-1140

Ottawa: Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa - (613) 236-6457 Thunder Bay: YES Employment Services - (807) 623-0768 Toronto: Tropicana Community Services - (416) 439-9009 Windsor: New Beginnings - (519) 9710973 ■

Hear What We Have to Say !!!

Jess (15) “Times are changing, do what you do and be who you are”

Bridgette (17) “What has kept me going and not giving up my dreams is my parents advices to be the best I could be” So, no giving up my dreams!!!

where we all came from, we are good kids, and have good dreams about our future”

Sarah (16) quoting Andy Warhol “In the future everybody will be famous for 15 minutes” Way to go youths!!!

Christella (16 years) “It does not matter

Vickie (15) “Youth voices are very important to issues affecting our society. Fellow youths, let’s speak up! ■

Augustina (17) “Youth should take advantage of what we have, we are the leaders of tomorrow”

Youth Employability Skills Program at AAT School ➤Offers marginalized youth the opportunity to level the playing field by helping them to acquire transferable skills and develop personal qualities; including self-esteem, self-reliance, leadership, communication, and other employability skills while at the same time, contributing to their local community.

ticipants learning a variety of Fundamental Skills, Personal Management Skills and Teamwork Skills.

➤Offers youth a broad range of information, skills, community connections and the practical work experiences needed for entry and sustainability in the labour market.

➤The program also offers the participants an opportunity to demonstrate their skills by participating in the construction of two community projects that include a completely renovated low income housing unit and a community signature garden in the Hamilton area.

➤This forty (40) week program will offers WIMIS training, CPR, First Aid, Employability Skills training which focuses on the par-

➤The program participants will have the opportunity to develop increase self-esteem, self-confidence while gaining the theoretical knowledge of the construction and professional landscaping sector.

➤The program participants will also have the opportunity to develop a ‘personal and career plan’.The Youth Employability Skills Program (Y.E.S.) is comprised of recruitment, educational training, professional and peer counselling, leadership development, and job placement for 20-25 young men and women from the diverse communities who meet the following criteria set out by Services Canada:

dents, or persons on whom refugee protection has been conferred

➤Between 15 and 30 years of age (inclusive) at the time of the intake/selection ➤In need of assistance to overcome employment barriers

➤For more information, please contact the Manger of Student Services, Latoya Davis @ 905-521-1121 or

➤Canadian citizens, permanent resi-

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➤Out of school ➤Legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations ➤Not in receipt of Employment Insurance benefits ➤This is a paid training program.

April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6

Today’s Youth – Techno-Crazy?

Wanted! Female Models

All cultures all ages Tiara Festival is looking for models for its multicultural parade and fashion show on Thursday, May 8th, 2008 from 11 am to 8 pm At Continental Express Ballroom, LIUNA Station, Hamilton, Ontario

Today’s youths are living in a world of make believe. Before the advert of technology, the concept “youth” is non-existent. Stages of human development were from childhood to adulthood, nothing in between. Youth period as we see today is a recent phenomenon, one that is characterized by puzzling behaviours that started back in the 60’s, and reached its apogee in August 1981 when IBM released the IBM

the youth as a social pariah. So, that aspect of hormonal influences on the youth, seen from one generation to the next, shows a link between issues that bother youths of yester years and those of today. This link that bind inter-generational youths is the quest for self identity and self worth. Being tangled in the web of self definition, and having to choose the right path that would transit the passiveness of childhood

PC. Ever since, the youth have remained wired to every new technological that is produced.

into the world of adulthood, the youth are faced with identity crises and had to resort to ways, actions or paths that would define and reveal their true identities. However, as persuasive as this argument about the cause of youths’ problems arising from hormonal influences, the fact remains that technological impact on youth culture remain the strongest source of influence on their lives.

Selected models will be wearing ethnic and tribal clothing and accessories, which will be provided by women entrepreneurs for the event. Send photo, short bio, phone number and email address by April 25th By email: By mail: Womenpower International Blakely RPO, P.O. Box 68009, 753 Main Street East Hamilton, Ontario Canada L8M 3M7 www . w o m e n p o w e r . c a

Helpful Websites for Youth • Pause to Play: • ACTIVE 2010: • • HealthLinks: children and youth: • • Telehealth Ontario: • Health Canada: • EatRight • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: • Children and Youth Mental Health Services: • • Young Worker Awareness Program: • Youth Suicide Prevention Website: • Aboriginal Youth Network - Health Centre: • Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP): • HIV & AIDS: • Sexually Transmitted Diseases: • Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line:

Though the society is quick to apportion blames on the youths for reckless and chaotic lifestyles, society itself has to take the blame for creating a period of restlessness and inactivity for our youths. In the days and years gone by when there was no youth period, children shoulder a lot of responsibilities. They are treated as young adults and are assigned adult responsibilities. Nowadays, there is no child labour especially in this part of the world. As a result, children and youth have a lot of spare times on their hands to put to un-worthy causes. A lot has really changed. A new craze is at play demanding the attentions of our youth and in the process either setting them in the path of stardom or down the road to social pariahs. The new craze as stated earlier is technology. Days are gone when youths are perturbed with issues central to their contributions and positioning in the society. The focus now is getting wired, simply put, connectivity to the latest gadget in the globe. Having said this, not all the social problems faced by youths of today could be attributed to technology alone. There are non-technological causes of youths’ problems in the society today. The interplay between hormonal and societal expectations on the youth could trigger explosive expression of non-conforming behaviours that makes the society see

• Career cruiser: • Careerworx: • Youth intership program: • • • • • • • •

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Some idealist opined that since today’s youth live in a world of speedily technological advancement that makes the primitive world of yester-years a pitiable history to recall. The youths would but be hipped to exist. Though technology has made the world a ‘global village’ so to say, however, the effect the society is reaping as a result is far disastrous that could ever be imagined. Morally speaking, the very essence of human reasoning has been shaped by technology. As rightly observed by some intellectuals, technology has defined the youth culture; the arrival of a powerful global media-driven culture is shaping the socialisation processes, values, and beliefs of young people, and influencing young people’s decisions, in areas such as educational choice, employment, leisure, and life in general. ■ By Veronica Chris-Ike

Host Program for Youth SISO

Youth in Motion-HCCI

activities, etc... • Fighting isolation, peer pressure, generation gap...

HCCI has developed a ‘Youth in Motion’ group and we are facilitating training workshops, artistic and dramatic presentations for ‘Youth in Motion’ consisting of diverse group of Hamilton youth committed to making a change in their various

• Learning respect, life skills, communication... This program is designed to match young Canadians between the ages of 12 and 18, with young newcomers 12-18 years old, to ease their transition into the Canadian culture. Host Youth volunteers are carefully matched with young newcomers who have similar interests. It is an exciting chance to gain insights into other cultures and customs and open a whole new world of friendships.

• Participating in Theatre Group, Homework Club, Mural Group or just hanging out... • Support and counselling for youth, parents and teachers To find out more, or to register for the program, contact: (905) 667-7497 ■

The Host Youth Program is about: • Support through activities, discussions, information, workshops, networking, sport

Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program The Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program places interns in federal government organizations to enable unemployed or under-employed young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 to acquire work experience and skills. This Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program (FPSYIP) can provide you with a paid internship from 6 to 10 months within the federal government. This Program gives you the tools to break the vicious cycle of “no job, no experience; no experience, no job”. During your internship, you’ll be paired with a mentor who will act as your guide and advisor. These internships are offered across Canada in a wide variety of fields such as agriculture, arts, administra-

tion and environment. There are opportunities available to suit your interests and career goals. Interns hired under this Program are placed within the federal government but they are not federal employees. You can get real work experience and develop your employability skills! Delivered by: Service Canada For comments or questions regarding the Program, you can contact us either by: • E-mail at the following address: yip-psj@; or • Call us at (819) 934-7631. ■

Are You an Ontario Youth aged 15-18 looking for a summer job? Summer Jobs for Youth is designed to help young people aged 15 to 18 who live in high-needs neighbourhoods gain workplace skills through summer employment. You will receive job training, paid employment placements from July to August, and

what you want to study at college or university and/or what you want your future career to be. To get more info and an application form, visit your local Summer Jobs for Youth

schools and communities. In efforts to promote principles of social inclusion and civic engagement among youth, HCCI has launched the ‘Youth in Motion’ initiative to help facilitate youth involvement in civic engagement processes thereby enhancing youth empowerment. HCCI is committed to promoting active dialogue among youth and encouraging them to engage and fully participate in the transformative processes within their various schools and communities. Facilitating youth workshops designed specifically to the needs of youth and approaches will encourage creativity, participation, open and honest dialogues thereby creating new opportunities for youth engagement and participation. HCCI is committed to mobilizing all youth in Hamilton to become socially active within their various com-

munities. By promoting civic engagement initiatives among youth will enable them to realize their significance within Hamilton. The youth represent a significant and vulnerable population, whose voices need to be audible, recognized and acknowledged. Most often, the youth perspective gets ignored or dismissed which has resulted in a passive involvement of youth civically. As such, by providing the youth with the requisite knowledge, information and skills essential to empowerment will mobilize them to act. The youth workshops are designed to incorporate artistic and dramatic elements thereby cultivating interest and creativity among participants. Workshop facilitators will allow youth to present their interpretation of issues affecting them and their various communities, in an effort to enhance the training curriculum. Thrust with the mandate to mobilize other youth within their various communities to action, participants will attend training workshops on 5 key themes focusing on; understanding and implementing civic leadership, community structure, strengthening and building communities, leadership in community and engaging community. Upon completion of the training, mobilize other youth to undertake initiatives that will lead towards empowerment. ■

Hamilton’s Centre for Civic Inclusion – (HCCI) Strengthening Our Community Hamilton’s Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) is a community-based network, mobilizing all Hamiltonians to create an inclusive city, free of racism and hate. HCCI will assist the City, major institutions, business, service providers, and others to initiate and sustain transformative processes to create racism-free and inclusive environments. It will develop and share training and education resources, and enable easier access to relevant research and information. HCCI will also be a source of support and information to newcomer immigrant and refugee communities, diverse ethnoracial and ethno-cultural groups and Aboriginal communities. It will help build community leadership and enable productive dialogues and partnerships between marginalized and ‘centralized’ communities, organizations and institutions. Our Vision: A united community that respects diversity, practices equity, and speaks out against discrimination. Our Goal: To create in every sector, and among youth, effective and sustainable ways of integrating all Hamiltonians into the civic life of the community, using their contributions to create a strong and vibrant city Strategic Directions: • Promote the safety and security of all Hamiltonians. • Develop broad-based strategies to eliminate racism and hate. • Foster inter-faith and inter-cultural understanding and respect. • Foster civic leadership across the diverse communities, particularly youth. • Facilitate youth leadership and engagement.

support after your job finishes. You will get $8.75 per hour and are paid for a 35-hour work week while getting training and experience in a job. This will not only look good on your resume and put some extra cash in your pocket, but also, may help you figure out

office! See below for all the offices in Ontario: Hamilton YMCA of Hamilton / Burlington - (905) 681-1140

Approaches: • Build relationships across the community • Challenge and respond to incidents of discrimination • Foster inclusive, equitable and enduring civic participation. • Facilitate opportunities for on-going public education and aware ness. • Set strategic priorities using community input and sound research. Madina Wasuge Executive Director

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April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6


When I asked Zainabu, a 16 year old girl attending high school and recently immigrated to Canada with family from Pakistan how she was doing, she gave me a resigned look and mumbles “good”. Not a rare response from most newcomer youth. The body language screams loud, suggesting that all is not “milk and honey” in the land of opportunity. Zainabu is a good kid, loves school and is one of the regulars at the SISO run homework club. I have developed a rapport with Zainabu and she feels safe to share her experiences with me. On this particular Tuesday afternoon, I must confess she took me by surprise by following her “good” comment with a swear word. This was completely out of character and unexpected. You see, she is one of gentle kids whose vocabulary include words like sir, please, excuse me, etc. After I recovered from the shock,

I asked her what she means. I know now I should have been gentler with her after what followed, but isn’t it a known fact that a tongue is a tough body part to control under some brain shock? I believe its my disappointment with the swear word that led Zainabu to make it up to me by sharing what was bothering her, not as an excuse for profanity but an opportunity to talk to someone, a need to be understood, accepted and valued. You see Zainabu wore a headcover to school, something she has grown up with and accepted all her life. Her family are practicing Muslims and she is a willing follower. As she shares with me, she is proud to be Muslim and she feels that wearing her head cover preserves her modesty and is pleasing to God and her parents. But that no one at home had compelled her to wear headcover. She can change her mind whenever, wherever. Close to tears, Zainabu informs me that she is ashamed that the defense of her chosen head gear has resulted in her using a profane word in my presence, a word she confesses she has never used before now. I believe her. “You see sir; I am tired of being called terrorist, weird and even backward.” It was un-bearable to hear a few negative comments from students, and she in fact stood up for her-

self when this happens but today was different. Her class teacher wanted to let her know that she doesn’t have to wear it. The teacher offered to help her liberate herself, informed her that oppression of females is not tolerated in Canada. And that there are organizations and human rights advocates that will help her. According to her teacher, all she needs to do is ask. “I was so angry that I cried” she tells me. “ It felt so bad that my teacher, the one I looked up to, the one I loved so much, the one who helped me understand my new world and the one that has taught me to speak English would be so wrong”. As Zainabu explains, she is disappointed that Canada doesn’t view her as an empowered young woman, doesn’t seem to value her choices and feels angry that she has to defend her very identity to her ignorant classmates, school yard bullies and now her own teachers. “I was thinking about this when you spoke to me and now this strange word came out of my mouth! I think hearing words like these every day is turning me into a bad Muslim.” I tell her that its okay, and before we could go into what to do about this, Sarah a university student who comes out every Tuesday to help newcomer youth with homework walked in, gives Zainabu a big hug and off they go to find a spot in the fast filling room and get going with the homeworkand whaterver else that these two talk about that has Zainabu all smiley and gig-

gly. As I watch them I can’t help but wonder if Sarah understands her new friends’ struggle, or is she also going to try helping her some day and destroy the blossoming friendship. I can only wonder. ■ Loyd Kibaara is a freelance writer and also coordinat a newcomer youth program in Hamilton. Cross Road looks at major social influences that shape immigrant youths’ paths in their transition to Canada as well as of the complex interconnections among those influences. The column tries to highlight challenges that family roles and responsibilities, school contexts, peer pressure, community organizations, religious involvement and beliefs, gendered expectations, and media influences present to a new immigrant youth.

Barriers Engagement I had to work hard at controlling myself as I listened to the very nice lady admonish the young man. “I hope you have learned your lesson now. You need to get your high school diploma, learn a trade, get a job and stay off the street,” she said. “Yes, that’s what I am trying to do,” replied the young man. “With the new baby coming I don’t want to go back to jail. The 22 year old man-child sitting across from me wanted to do what his aunt and parole officer was telling him that he needed to do. The first thing he did when he got out of jail each time was to go looking for programs and services to help him get his high school diploma, so that he could get into an apprenticeship training program. While he was in jail, he had made regular phone calls to AAT School to see if his name was still on the waiting list after almost 10 months. The sad reality is that the young man’s dream to finish high school so that he can get an apprenticeship and learn a trade to take care of his growing family may be well beyond his grasp. The situation is difficult

for all marginalized youth in Canada, but it is especially depressing for youth from racialized communities in the Toronto GTA including those in Hamilton. Since the school could not fit him into a funding model, I spent a full hour on the phone looking for programs and services in Hamilton that would help him, and I found nothing. He had failed in both regular school and the adult learning programs offered by the local school boards. He had also failed in the free academic upgrading program offered by the local community college. Like many youth he has gaps in his learning and lacks the skills to handle “self-paced and self-directed learning, so referring him to these programs would be pointless. The reasons youth drop out of or get kicked out of high school are many and varied. Some have learning disabilities, others spend there time learning English and simply “age out” of the system before they get a chance to study the curriculum. For these and others high needs youth who are disadvantaged by poverty and racism, there are plenty

of opportunities to join a gang, build a criminal career, develop a drug habit and go to jail. Yet the opportunities to get the academic and vocational training support they need to find and keep a meaningful job is scarce. It is important to note however that many local organizations offer excellent youth employment services. The problem remains that youth employment service workers are handicapped in their effort to help youth. Youth have complained often to me that the reason they fail to get a good job is because of how they dress or because of their skin colour. It is undeniable that showing up with tattoos and piercing or clothed in multi-layers of oversized clothes, du-rags, personalized baseball hats and an imitation gangster walk can be off-putting to many employers. In my experience the physical appearance is only a small and important barrier between marginalized youth and meaning-

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ful employment. When youth drop out of school they also miss the opportunities to engage in team activities, access personal and career guidance services, participate in personal management classes and develop core essential skills. When I called the young man to tell him that I could not find any programs that would help him and also provide him with a small income supplement, he was not surprised. He said the doors had started closing to him when he got kicked out of school on his 16 birthday. With no options to offer him, I could not talk him out of going back to the streets to sell drugs. A week later he called from jail to find out if I had found any program yet to help get his life on track. ■

By Terri Smith

A Journey of Success

with local media houses bring the spotlight to bear on the plight of refugee youth for possible intervention by governments and other organizations.

Every year close to 252,000 people come to call Canada home. In 2006 alone about 41,000 were between the ages of 15 to 24 years old. The road to integration is not easy and can be quite bumpy. Adjusting to a new environment, system and language is not an easy task and does not happen overnight. It needs patience, support and determination.

After only two years of living in Hamilton, some of his achievements include: ] Worked with SISO as a Life Skills Trainer and a Youth volunteer ] Represented Hamilton and SISO at a three-day international Conference in Toronto on the Rights of Refugees

The Immigrant youth plays an important role in the economic and social advancement of our society. They are the future work force. The future depends on them to move this country forward. For this reason, it is crucial for organizations like SISO to exist and provide opportunities for growth and empowerment to youth to gain experience and succeed in their journey of integration. Leo Johnson is a success story thanks in some part to the support of settlement organizations like SISO. Originally from Liberia, Leo came to Canada at the age of 23 through the government refugee assistance program. Leo’s own journey began in 1998 when the civil war in Liberia escalated. At the tender age of 16 Leo fled to neighbouring Ivory Coast. . A year prior to his flight however, Leo’s leadership abilities began to take root in Liberia when he took a post as a student journalist for High School Press Association and developed youth forums for the YMCA. Despite the harsh realities of refugee life, and feelings of deep anxiety due to sepa-

] Became Youth Coordinator for mobilization and education for Immigrant Culture and Arts Association ] Participated in the World University Service of Canada Annual General Assembly held in Ottawa

ration from his family, Leo managed to complete high school in 1999 in Cote d’ Ivoire. In 2002, his status as a refugee became complicated and dangerous when another civil war erupted in Ivory Coast. This meant that Leo had to flee again, this time to Ghana. While battling the conditions of refugee life, Leo worked as a youth activist, a community youth leader, a representative with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and with the Liberian Refugee Welfare Council. He also worked closely

] Mobilized a group of 25 youth from Liberia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan and Iraq for the sole purpose of education ] Founded Care for Underprivileged and Refugee Empowerment (C.U.R.E), a group of McMaster students currently working in partnership with SISO ] Became Governing Council Member – Hamilton’s Centre for Civic Inclusion Leo Johnson’s first challenge was to overcome his culture shock. The environment was completely different from what he was used to, but this did not prevent his

determination and willingness to challenge himself. In 2007, Leo received the Rev. J. C. Holland Award for Youth Achievement and was selected as a semi-finalist for the CBC’s Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister Competition. Now 25, Leo is in his second year at McMaster University majoring in economics. His future plans include completing his education, and using his story and leadership qualities to inspire hope among young people who are dealing with conflicts and the complexities of an ever changing world. Leo believes that there are two key factors that are important and necessary to ensure the successful integration of youth into Canadian society: 1. Empowerment: Providing access to information is not enough. We need to empower youth to take charge of their future and make sure they are benefiting from the services that are available. They must believe that they have something to give to themselves and to their society. The information or the services will be more effective and easily accessible if they are facilitated by age appropriate staff for example, the peer to peer assistance programs that exist at SISO. 2. Self motivation and determination also contributes to the success of individuals. Newcomer youth need to believe that they are an integral part of this society’s development and that they are part of the future of Canada. ■ By Lina El-Ahmed and Marufa Shinwari

Immigrant Youth – Hurdles and Challenges Hamilton is still the third largest diverse region in Canada, as well as a noted destination for secondary migration. Today’s Hamilton includes a rich diversity of cultural, language and racial backgrounds. Smooth, meaningful integration of all this diversity will play an important role in the future growth and prosperity of our region and country. This will depend greatly upon the capacity of receiving communities to welcome diversity and assist newcomers to become successful. Newcomer youth are at a particular disadvantage because they may be “rushed” through the education system, without sufficient resources and assistance to address pressure from their family and community, pressure from their peers and pressure to learn in a new environment. Many bring excellent skills, abilities and previous education. However, without proper guidance and assistance, newcomers generally and newcomer youth especially, are left to search on their own – so many times unsuccessfully - for pathway to meaningful integration and acceptance. The ever increasing level of poverty for recent immigrants to Hamilton (52%) speaks for no less than the failure of the Canadian system, and indeed, the failure of our own community to recognize skills and talent and to meaningfully integrate both newcomer youth and their parents Newcomer youth surmount tremendous barriers to success - over and above the general challenges experienced by their Canadian counterparts:

➤ Making the cultural transition ➤ Acquiring language skills ➤ Dealing with a different level of independence and choice in an unstructured environment ➤ Managing parent and community expectations related to ethno-cultural traditions ➤ Assisting parents who may be dependent on them for English skills ➤ Bullying and discrimination from peers ➤ Religious accommodation ➤ Lack of connection to the mainstream and a sense of being excluded and undervalued ➤ Dealing with violence and abuse ➤ Body image and self esteem ➤ Family reunification ➤ Family breakdown ➤ Identity issues ➤ Imposition of parents’ values related to choice of career and education ➤ Lack of familiarity and comfort related to counselling and assisting services, especially for cases of disability, substance abuse or psychological issues (war or refugee experience) ➤ Concerns and controversial feelings related to “Canadian” approach to opposite gender ➤ Support of immediate family (i.e., visa students, family reunification)

These hurdles have a great impact on their scholastic achievements. In extreme cases, an inability to overcome barriers may lead to drop-out, suspensions or expulsions from school, often for behavioral problems arising from inadequate integration and lack of support in understanding cultural and societal expectations. While some of the challenges need to be addressed at the systemic level through a collaborative approach of all three levels of government, there are a number of areas that depend solely on the ability and capacity of local communities, education/ training institutions, businesses and individuals to ensure that immigrants general-

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ly and newcomer youth particularly make a smooth integration to quickly become contributors to growth and prosperity. Assisting immigrants make the most out of their dreams and abilities and assisting our young generation succeed is imperative for our own stability, growth and prosperity. No one says it is easy, but the price that is paid by not doing anything is far too great, at both individual and system level. ■ By Aurelia Tokaci

April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6

The Way I See It

Nawab Kattavazi Nawab Kattavazi was born in the province of Paktika in Afghanistan in 1981. When the war between the Soviet Army and Mujahedeen forces escalated, Nawab’s family fled to Peshawar, Pakistan. Nawab began attending primary school while in Pakistan. In late 1989, as the soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan, Nawab moved back to his homeland along with his family.

A Special Arts partnership between Arts Hamilton and SISO Titled “The Way I See It” (TWISI) the event attempts to provide bridges between the Hamilton arts community and newcomers to Hamilton. “The Way I See It” is a photography exhibit made possible through support and contributions from the Hamilton Community Foundation and the Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. According to Steve McNamee, the project manager, the exhibit is “not a contest or competition”. “The Way I See It” is “Hamilton through the eyes of newcomers via the medium of photography, pure and simple”. Participants will have one of their photographs on display in one of the exhibit venues in and around the city during the months of April and May. The project is a good opportunity for newcomers to Canada and Hamilton to have a voice and presence in the local arts community. It is also an opportunity to bring tighter new mothers who have recently ar-

rived from sub-Saharan Africa with young students from Bangladesh and Japan and allow them to “speak” to the broader community as presenting artists. The public is invited to participate in this event and appreciate how some of Hamilton‘s newest residents share their view of Hamilton. The exhibit will take place in the near future. Check www.artshamilton. ca for the most up to date listing under TWISI. ■ For further event information, please contact Gigi at (905) 667-7476, ext. 368.

The State of the Labour Force Using data from the Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada, March 7, 2008 The Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada shows that employment continued to grow in February with gains estimated at 43,000. Canada’s February unemployment rate held steady at a 33-year low of 5.8%, while the 12-month employment growth stood at 361,000 (+2.2%).

cline.” Private vs. Public Sectors February was only the second consecu-

Insignificant changes in February; however, the 12-months employment growth (+2.4% or 92,000), puts Quebec above the national average, despite some overall weakness displayed in manufacturing. February unemployment rate in Quebec: 7.0%, still a 33-year low for this province. Saskatchewan – Growth


» Professional, scientific and technical services +16,000 » Public Administration: +16,000 Decline: • Manufacturing (-24,000, mostly in Ontario) • Natural resources (-9,000) “Manufacturing employment declined by 24,000 in February, bringing total losses over the last 12 months to 106,000 (-5.1%). Manufacturing now represents 11.6% of total employment, a record low and far from the 15.0% share observed at the end of 2002, the start of the most recent de-

SISO Host Youth Program March was a fantastic month for the Youth program! The field trip to the Maple Syrup Festival was a great success! Youth gathered together to enjoy the outdoors, learn about Canadian heritage, and also learn how to make maple syrup. They also had a great deal of fun tobogganing and feasting on a typical pancake lunch.

April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6

construction sector gained 31,000. Other gains in Ontario: business, building and other support services (+20,000); public administration (+11,000). Quebec – Little Change

Winners and Losers – National Snap-shot

• Service Sector (+56,000), most notably:

With an uncertain future ahead of them, in 1990, the Kattavazi family tried to settle down in India. Nawab and his siblings attended school in India, and Nawab completed high school while living there. Living and studying in India gave him an opportunity to learn Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and English besides Dari and Pashto that he already spoke. The complex immigration issues that the Kattavazi family faced in India and their financial situation forced Nawab to abandon his dreams of going to university. He took up the role of breadwinner for his family. In 2003, Nawab and his family were selected to be resettled in Canada. In De-

As in January, employment growth in the second month of this year was almost entirely a reflection of an increase in full-time employment.

• Construction (+21,000, almost all in Ontario)

After returning home the Kattawazi’s were expecting to live in peace and looked forward to a better future. Unfortunately, within a short period of time the condition in Afghanistan began to deteriorate and the country rapidly descended into anarchy. This meant Nawab and his family had to flee again, this time, to India.

tive month to show strength for employment in the private sector. However, the 12-month overall employment growth has been a reflection of an important growth in the public sector. Provincial Snap-shots Ontario – Strong Growth Employment in Ontario grew by 46,000 in February, nearly all in full-time work. It helped to bring down the overall unemployment rate in the province to 6.1%. Ontario’s 12-months employment growth stands at 2.0%, compared with a 2.2% national average.

Employment growth started in September 2007. February brought an increase of 3,300. Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate in February was 4.1%, one of the lowest in the country. Alberta – Little Change

cember 2003 he arrived in Hamilton with his parents and two sisters. With the resettlement assistance provided by SISO, Nawab and his family began to settle down in Hamilton. Soon afterwards, Nawab began to work night-shifts at a local convenience store. He also wanted to assist newcomers who come to Hamilton; so he began to volunteer at SISO. Consequently, Nawab was trained as a SISO life-skill trainer in 2004 and he also worked as a cultural interpreter for SISO and other organizations in Hamilton. In 2005, he gained admission to the Law and Security Diploma Program at Mohawk College. He successfully completed his studies and graduated from Mohawk in 2007. Nawab, now 26, is employed in the field of law and security. His ultimate goal is to go to university to study Psychology and to work for the Canadian Border Services Agency. ■ construction sector. Some losses have been registered in manufacturing (more noticeable in wood products). BC’s employment rate remained unchanged compared to January of this year: 4.1%, while the unemployment rate remains among the lowest in Canada. New Brunswick - Growth Although New Brunswick registered an employment gain of 2,700 in February, its participation rate reached a record high of 65.0%. Employment growth in New Brunswick started back in October 2006, when it began posting gains in the service sector. Nova Scotia – Declining Nova Scotia lost an overall 3,800 jobs in February, bringing its unemployment rate up to 7.7%. Other Provinces:

Alberta’s booming economy continues to show employment growth, gaining 58,000 since February 2007, while the 3.5% unemployment rate is the lowest in the country.

Manitoba – Declined; Below national average

However, Alberta’s participation rate (the share of the working-age population that is working or looking for work) remained at a record high of 74.5% for the second consecutive month, the highest in Canada.

Prince Edward Island – Below national average

British Columbia – Little Change

Ontario’s manufacturing sector lost another 20,000 jobs in February, while the

Employment growth in British Columbia shows a one year increase of 2.3% (+52,000), driven by the strength in the

On the pizza day they had a lot of fun in sport and recreational activities, and on a movie day they enjoyed huge quantities of popcorn!

and listen to a keynote speaker talk about young women’s issues. The YWCA is one of our community partners and we thank them for a wonderful morning!

The YWCA of Hamilton organized “The Totally Awesome Young Women’s Breakfast”; this was an occasion where girls from our program were able to meet and interact with other girls in their age-group. This gathering gave the opportunity for the youth to explore a great exhibition

Coming up this month of April, we will be holding a Francophone Homework Club every Tuesday from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Central Library, 55 York Boulevard, Hamilton. Many French-speaking tutors will be available on site and we look forward to

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Newfoundland and Labrador – Declined; Below national average

Wages – Growth Trend Hourly wages increased nationally over the last year by an estimated 4.9%, compared with the most recent increase of 2.2% in consumer prices. ■ helping all of you! See you all at our programs! ■ From Gigi, Youth Organizer For further information and to register with our program please contact us at (905) 667-7476 or email All our programs are free of charge.

A Day at the Youth Program

Club and other youth based activities. Thank you Meghan for your volunteerism!

Since becoming a volunteer for SISO’s Youth Program, I am filled with memories of special times that have touched my heart. I have been privileged enough to have met and established close relationships with youth from all over the world;

Youth Programming SISO has a Youth Soccer Team! friends and family with a little girl name Annie, as she paid attention to every single detail on her picture including the picture frame. continuing to learn about their homeland, their culture and what they enjoy about their new home. The youth never fail to amaze me with their smiles, laughter and creativity. Their energy keeps all of us volunteers on our toes, continuously thinking about new, fun games to make them laugh, keep them focused, and help them to learn and develop their incredibly unique and creative abilities. One particular memory that comes to mind; drawing portraits of

Her drawing was of herself and her friend

she had met that day. A smile came to my face; the picture was not only better than anything I could have ever drawn, but showed the significance of the friendships and bonds formed during the program. The Host Youth Program, along with other wonderful programs Host and SISO have to offer, help instill invaluable lessons and morals in our youth; friendship, encouragement, support, achievement, confidence, motivation, appreciation, respect and love. These values play a large part not only in realizing their abilities, but give the youth the confidence they need to reach for and fulfill their dreams. Meghan is an employee of SISO and continuously volunteers her time with the Kids

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The youth are not only doing well in the standings but are also socializing with other house league teams and integrating into other city soccer leagues. The team plays every Wednesday evening against teams from around the city. This fantastic opportunity for SISO youth could not have been possible without the kindness and support from Soccer World. Playing in this League is a great experience for the youth; they love being a part of Soccer World. We are proud of you guys, keep up the great work! From Deanna, Sport & Recreation Youth Worker

April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6

Profile: Hser Mu Lar Hser Mu Lar, 24, came to Hamilton from the Mae La Oon Refugee camp in Thailand. A member of the Karen ethnic minority in Burma, she arrived at the refugee camp as a ten year old after fleeing through the rain forests of Burma with her family and community members to escape an oppressive Burmese Army. The government wanted to drive the Karen minority out of the country by any means necessary. Many members of her party did not make it to the camp alive, and even though her family made it safely to the camp, Hser Mu Lar’s father was killed when he returned to the rain forest to help those who were still hiding in the jungle. In spite of her ordeal, Hser Mu Lar kept hope alive for the 12 years while she, her mother and two brothers survived the harsh and oppressive conditions of a refugee camp. Despite poor housing, inadequate food and opportunities for education she studied veraciously, successfully learning English and completing a College Diploma program in theological studies at a bible college at a nearby refugee camp. She also taught English in the Mae La Oon refugee camp from 2005 to October 2006, a month before leaving for a new life in Canada. In November 2006 Hser Mu Lar and her family took advantage of an opportunity to come to Canada. After arriving in Hamilton she immediately began working as

Volunteering on the Pathway to Success

an interpreter and life skills trainer for the Resettlement and Adaptation Program (RAP) at SISO. In September 2007 she began to prepare for a college career in her new community. She enrolled in a continuing education program with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board where she completed a full-time program of English, sciences and math in four months. Upon completion of her high school program Hser Mu Lar applied to study practical nursing at Mohawk College with a goal to study nursing at university. Through her achievements, both in the camp and in Canada, Hser Mu Lar has shown a quiet resilience and determination that has been an inspiration to everyone who knows her. ■

SISO Calendar-April, 2008 Job Search Workshops for Newcomers An introduction to job search process and techniques, information and assistance regarding labour market, transferable skills, resume writing and interview coaching. Format: 4-day group session followed by individual employment/career assistance for up to 3 months. Qualifying Requirements: Independent and Family Class Immigrants, Convention Refugees, Live-in Caregivers and Temporary Residents. Schedule: April 1, 2, 3, 4; April 15, 16, 17, 18 All Classes from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration: Required. Call (905) 6677482 for Assessment and Registration. Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Program

placement, job shadowing or mentorship. Qualifying Requirements: Independent and Family Class Immigrants, Convention Refugees, Live-in Caregivers and Temporary Residents who want to improve their English skills in order to access employment, training or education. Benchmark 7 through Canadian Language Benchmark Placement (CLBPT) Test. Schedule: Full time, Mon-Fri. (Continuous Intake; Monthly start-up). Registration: Required. Call (905) 6677483. Preparatory Classes for International Medical Doctors (IMDs) Peer-guided Study Groups for IMDs preparing for MCQ and OSCE MCCQ preparation: Every Saturday, from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. OSCE preparation: Every Tuesday, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Registration: Not Required.

A combination of Language Training and Workplace Exposure to assist with English and workplace communication skills necessary for employment or further training/ education.

Modularized program to help Internationally-trained professionals access employment or licensing in Engineering

Format: English language training in a classroom setting (Mohawk College) using job search related topics, combined with workplace exposure through 2-3 weeks of

Format: Evening and weekend courses delivered through SISO, Mohawk College and McMaster University, in partnership with PEO and OACETT.

Fozia Elmi

Bridging for Engineering

ger was common in camps as every one had to

Fozia Elmi was born in Kismayo Somalia. When the civil war broke out in her homeland she was only three years old. Having fled to Kenya with her family, she was warehoused in Utango refugee camp together with thousands of other Somali refugees. When the Utango refugee camp was closed down and demolished in 1994, Fozia was forced to move to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Five years later she moved to Hagadera refugee camp in North East Kenya.

rely on the food rations from the United

The living conditions in the refugee camps were extremely harsh. There were little opportunities for children to get an education. Hun-

Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The camps were unsafe, especially for women and children. While all odds were against her, Fozia


April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6

In November 2007, The Hamilton Public Library hosted SISO’s Annual Youth Volunteer Forum. The event was organized by SISO in partnership with various community organizations which attended and exhibited their programs and services for Hamilton youth. The participants included; Volunteer Hamilton, Habitat for Humanity, Green Venture, Hamilton Urban Core, YWCA, Aids Network Hamilton, Royal Botanical Gardens, Living Rock Ministries, CCL Chinese Journal, Hamilton Extend a Family and the Hamilton Public Library. Over 120 youth attended this event, which proved extremely successful in encouraging youth to get involved in our community.

tion, nurturing self esteem, and building lasting bonds and friendships. The Youth Volunteer Forum is an exceptional way to introduce Hamilton youth to various volunteer organizations in Hamilton and assist in their settlement, as well as contribute to their personal growth and development. Overall, it is a wonderful way to get our youth involved in the community; doing something they enjoy and learning invaluable lessons which will contribute to the success of their future.

Volunteering has many benefits for all, including raising awareness within the community, increasing one’s apprecia-

Qualifying Requirements: Benchmark 7 through Canadian Language Benchmark Placement (CLBPT) Test. International education and experience in engineering. Schedule: Most courses conducted on evening and weekends Registration: Required. Call Radenka: (905) 667-7483. Career Transitions for International Medical Doctors (IMDs) Employment preparation/counseling services and employer outreach to assist IMDs make successful short or long term career/employment transitions into alternative health care employment. Format: 40 hours of group sessions followed by individual career development assistance and coaching. Some work placements, job shadow/observership or mentorship opportunities may be available. Qualifying Requirements: IMDs who have decided to make a short or long-term transition in a non-regulated health occupation. Benchmark 8 through Canadian Language Benchmark Placement (CLBPT) Test. Limited seats available! Schedule: Evening Workshops. Registration: Required. Call: (905) 6677476, ext. 372 Build a Birdhouse with Dad- for Chinese dad and children You and your family are invited to join us at the Central Library. Roll up your sleeves, build a birdhouse and check out some of the great books on birds and carpentry available at the Hamilton Public Library. Registration is limited to 10 children and their dads. If possible, please bring a hammer with you! Qualifying Requirements: Children must be 5 years of age or older to participate Location: Central Library – Children’s Department, 55 York Boulevard

The Youth Volunteer Forum is offered twice a year. The next forum will take place in May 2008. Please contact Simin Abbasi for more information at 289-2445294. Meghan Ryan Date & Time: Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. Registration: Required. Call Sharron: (905) 512-9538. ESL Book Club Discuss literature and learn more about Canada and Canadians. Expand your English vocabulary; discover Canadian literature. Qualifying Requirements: Adults only Location: Central Library, 55 York Boulevard Date & Time: Third Wednesday of each month until May Registration: Required. Call Michelle Penta: (905) 546-3200 ext.3430 or Email: Mini Youth Conference Job Search and Taxation combined Workshop for Newcomer Students at Barton High Qualifying Requirements: Barton High Students Only Location: Barton Secondary School, 75 Palmer Road Date & Time: April 3rd Registration: Required. Call Shelair Kittani: (289) 244-2306 Oral Health Session Oral Health Promotion and Education Session for Parents-Students at Central Public School Qualifying Requirements: Central Public School Parents & Students Location: Central Public School, 75 Hunter St. W. Date & Time: Wednesday, April 23rd 9:00 A.M Registration: Not required. Contact Ghada Cheaib (289) 244-2304 ■

persisted and hoped for a better life.


In 2004 along with her three sisters and five bothers, Fozia was selected for resettlement in Canada. Her family of siblings arrived in Hamilton in November, 2004.

Apart from her extraordinary academic achievements, Fozia has also shown a strong commitment towards helping newcomers to settle down in Hamilton. She received training as a life skills trainer from SISO and began to assist fellow Somali newcomers. She taught newcomers the life skills that they needed to successfully live in the city of Hamilton. She also worked as a cultural interpreter for SISO and many other community organizations in Hamilton. Her remarkable story was featured in Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s nightly newscast “The National” in December, 2005.

Two weeks after her arrival in Hamilton, Fozia began to attend Mohawk College to improve her English language skills. After six months of studying English, she enrolled at St. Charles Adult School to complete her high school education. Fozia successfully completed her High School Diploma in 2007 and enrolled in Mohawk College’s Pharmacy Technician Diploma Program. Fozia, now, 23, plans to graduate in 2009 and to work as a pharmacy technician in

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Ramnavami By Swami Kripamayananda Ramnavami is dedicated to the memory of Lord Sri Rama. The festival, Ramnavami commemorates the birth of Bhagavan Sri Rama. It falls, according the Hindu calendar on 9th day (navami) of the bright fortnight in the month of Chaitra (corresponding to March-April of Gregorian calendar). This year Ramnavami is on Monday, April 14, 2008. This day is considered to be one of the most holy days and an important festival for the Hindus. On this auspicious day, devotees repeat the name of Rama with every breath and vow to lead a righteous life. People pray to attain the final beatitude of life through intense devotion towards Rama and invoke him for his blessings and protection. On Ramnavami, people try to think pure thoughts and perform the works of piety and charity. Some fast and others repeat the name of Rama the whole day. Repeating the name of Rama with the mind focused on His divine life and noble acts is considered a great purifier of the heart.

According to Hindu beliefs, Sri Rama is an incarnation of God. He is one of the most beloved spiritual personalities for the adherents of the third largest religious group in the world. Although a mythological figure, yet for His devotees Sri Rama is real and living. Sri Rama was born in the eon known as ‘Treta Yuga’, one of the four eons (yuga) of

Hindu chronology. He is the Lord, the Great Teacher and the Goal for millions of Hindus. His life has inspired people for thousands of years. People have found peace and spiritual fulfillment through Him. Sri Rama is also known as Maryada Purusottama and is the emblem of righteousness. His life and journey is one of perfect adherence to ‘dharma’ despite harsh tests of life and time. His life and teachings of morality are as relevant for us today as it was then. Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit epic was originally composed by the sage Valmiki. It consists of 24,000 verses which tell the story of Sri Rama’s life. The Rāmāyana is not just an ordinary story. It contains the teachings of the very ancient Hindu sages and presents them through allegory in narrative and the interspersion of the philosophical and the devotional. The characters of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Hanuman and Rāvana (the villain of the piece) are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India. Among the many Ramayanas later composed in other Indian languages, the most popular is ‘Ramcharit Manas’ in Hindi, composed by Sant Tulsidas.

commonly refers to the incarnation (bodily manifestation) of a divine being or the Supreme Being (God) onto planet Earth. Hindus believe that Rama was an ‘avatar’ born as a son of King Dasaratha. Although Rama in reality is Brahman, the Ultimate Truth is beyond the reach of mind and speech, yet he was born as a human baby, grew up, lived and died exactly as a human being does. Of course his every action is a model to mankind for righteous living.

In Hindu philosophy, an ‘avatar’, most

∞ continued on page 14

Hindus believe that as an ‘avatar’ (God incarnate) descends on Earth to distribute spiritual gifts to humankind. Their coming is for teaching pure Knowledge and Devotion. They do so by adhering to the virtues in life. Sri Rama’s life was without blemish. He was a perfect son, most loving husband, affectionate brother, kind master, just king and a most valiant hero. His principal ideal, however, was adherence to truth. His living in the forest, killing Ravana, banishing Sita and Lakshmana were all for establishing truth. He was the upholder of this virtue that was characteristic of His lineage. It is said Rama and his forefathers were ready to give up life, but not the truth.

Family Religious Involvement and the Quality of Family Relationships for Early Adolescents. Religiously involved families of early adolescents, those ages 12 to14, and living in the United States appear more likely to have significantly stronger family relationships than do families that are not religiously active. This report examines associations between three dimensions of family religious involvement (the number of days per week the family does something religious, parental worship service attendance and parental prayer) and the quality of family relationships. Out of the 27 family relationship variables examined

for this report, all were significantly related to some dimension of family religious involvement, after controlling for the possible effects of eight control variables. Eleven percent of 12- to 14-year-old youth belong to families that are heavily involved (five to seven days per week) in some form of religious activity during the week (such as attending church, praying or reading scriptures together). These youth are significantly more likely than youth whose

families do not engage in religious activities throughout the week (36 percent of all youth) to: ■ Have stronger relationships with their mothers and fathers, according to multiple measures ■ Participate in family activities, such as eating dinner together ■ Not run away from home ■ Youth from less religiously active families (8 percent for three to four days per week; 45 percent for one to two days per week) also are more likely to exhibit many but not all of the positive family relationship characteristics. The data revealed fewer significant associations between parental worship service attendance and positive family relationship characteristics. However, the 37 percent of youth with a parent attending worship services at least once a week are significantly more likely than those whose parents do not attend to: ■ Have mothers who both praise and are strict with them ■ Have mothers who know most things about their close friends’ parents and who know who they are with when they are not at home ■ Have fathers whom they aspire to be like and of whom they think highly ■ Have fathers who are supportive of them and don’t tend to abruptly cancel plans with them

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■ Have fathers who know at least some things about their close friends, about their close friends’ parents, about whom they interact with when not home and about their life in school ■ Eat dinner regularly with their families ■ Not run away from home For the youth whose parents are less frequent attendees (12 percent for twice per month; 21 percent for once per month or less), the data also suggest evidence of stronger family relationships than those whose parents do not attend, but with more scattered significant positive results. The data also show that the 53 percent of youth with a parent who reports praying more than once a day are more likely than youth whose parent prays daily or less to have better relationships with their mothers and fathers in a variety of measures. To summarize, all three dimensions of family and parental religious involvement analyzed here (family religious activity, parental religious service attendance and parental prayer) tend to be associated significantly with positive family relationship characteristics after employing statistical procedures to control for the possible influence of demographic and socioeconomic factors. What is clear in this report’s findings, however, is that, for whatever reasons, early adolescents living in religiously involved families in the United States appear more likely to enjoy stronger, more positive relationships in their families than do early adolescents in families that are not religiously active. This understanding may be an important starting point of knowledge for considering ways to enhance the quality of life of U.S. adolescents. Will same be said of Canadian adolescences and their families? ■ A Research Report of the National Study of Youth & Religion By Christian Smith and Phillip Kim

April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6


Endangered Children in our Playfield destruction.

By Roberto Lavidez Third world crises such as plagues, pandemics, civil wars, calamities and genocides continue to destroy the lives of children while those of us who are privileged have yet to find ways to prevent teen suicide and senseless violence in our own backyard. Set against the bleak backdrop of bamboozling globalization, social ills and catastrophes keep mowing down millions of children along its path. In the dark corners of the world, children fend for themselves to survive, eating dry roots or leaves along the road to a safer place. The youth that they envy on the affluent side of the world however, are themselves beleaguered by problems beyond their control. –Homes and schools, which should provide sanctuaries, could at times be just as dangerous as war zones. Who are more shocked to know what destroys the youth from opposite sides of the fence is not a matter of contention. Tragedies strike anywhere anytime and perplexed circumstances are confounded even more when the world keeps a blind eye to the plights of children. In underdeveloped societies, children die of hunger and disease. They are orphaned by AIDS. They are recruited by militias to become child soldiers. They are sold to brothels. They are hacked with machetes by enemy tribes. They are enslaved at sweatshops. They are tortured at detention centers. They are maimed or killed while playing on mined fields. In highly developed societies, the youth die from self-inflicted wounds, drug overdose, school and gang violence and reckless driving. They are daunted by pressures of employability, of independence, of building a future. They are compounded by self-loathing and the absence of meaningful relationship. Media blitz of sexual perversion and virtual violence corrupt their fragile faculties easily engulfed by nihilism. The very lives protected from the ravages of war, plagues and calamities, ironically, cannot escape death from self-


April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6

Teen suicide is the leading cause of death for the youth safe and distant from the grim realities of African countries and other war ravaged regions. Values are dissipating as materialism and hedonism obliterates compassion for others. The youth turn to themselves empty of any kind of solace other than what induces them to sleep. Isolated from families and alienated in their own society, the youth lack the support system that would prevent them from harming themselves. Suicidal tendencies dominate their thoughts snuffing out hope and passion for living. All of these and more are happening in an environment insulated from collapsed democracies and orgiastic anarchies that consume innocent lives in other hellish worlds. Minds are as volatile as continents abandoned by compassion and understanding. Though man is bereft of supernatural powers to prevent tragedies from happening, the child in him cannot stop from do-

ing the impossible. It is still the wide eyed child in him unhampered by harsh realities that can spark change in the world within us which then trickles to the outside world. Even if the external world in news headlines is beyond redemption to the eyes of many, a sense of hope needs to be ignited by childlike optimism and wonder, turning things upside down by the works of sheer imagination and pure inspiration. A tiny boy from Mozambique cries over the limp body of his mother dying from AIDS. In Darfur, a little girl is in shock squatting next to a pool of blood swirling around her dead father shot by a soldier her age. A boy from what was tagged as ‘The Lost

Boys of Sudan,’ fleeing violence from his village had to dig a grave for another boy who died during the several thousand mile march to Ethiopia. One survivor who had been repatriated tells American teens: “Do not look at the obstacles. Problems shape us to be better in our lives. You walk until your time comes.” With such strength and determination harnessed by a survivor of mayhem and torturous journey to freedom one wonders how families and free society as a whole fail to nurture in our own ‘lost children’ the resiliency to walk through the challenges of life. For someone who has only seen crocodiles, snakes, lions and hyenas at zoos it might be inconceivable for him to picture thousands of children fleeing on foot getting hounded and killed by these vicious animals as they passed through the swamps and deserts of Africa. It is unimaginable for someone who plays hockey with a neighbor to learn kids from Rwanda in 1994 were attacked by neigh-

bors upon orders from a voice over the radio to exterminate their dehumanized tribal enemies. The horrible stories that do not reach the channels of someone’s MP3 player or pages of smut or blogs of mindless blabber, how could they be taken into perspective and view the roots of hatred that inflict pain, suffering and death to innocent children across the globe. On the other hand, a more sophisticated form of toxicity is in the airwaves, the internet, the billboards and everything we can lay our eyes on and listen to, practically desensitizing the youth to become perfect consumers of the latest gizmos and fashion trends. Techno culture has stagnated creative imagination, filth and gore have

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numbed the senses and seized the capacity to empathize with the situation of others; the youth gets trapped inside a virtual world fighting their own nightmare- the emptiness of their dreams. Many lives have already been wasted by societies that have turned a blind eye to deep seated problems of teens in affluent nations or the widespread violence and disease that are claiming lives of the downtrodden from forgotten nations. The scale of tragedy varies from continent to continent but the fact remains that young lives, wherever they may be found, from the dusty roads of Africa or the comforts of a home in North America, are threatened. If it is not our concern to save the children from diseases, violence and the disconnectedness that breed hopelessness then we are abandoning all hope for a better world. Perhaps we should care to listen to the voice from Sudan who survived the death march to tell his young audience about the only possible reason why

he chose to live as he walked through the pangs of death: ‘If you are alive, you can do anything.’ ▪ ©rlavidez2008 ■ Roberto Lavidez is a visual artist whose works can be viewed at He is a poet, playwright and essayist whose writings can be viewed at As Director of C.A.M.P. (Creating Art, Making Peace), an interactive workshop combining art and history to promote human rights and non-violence, Roberto can be contacted at

True Story of a Mentee (Banker) When I was coming to Hamilton I was not very much encouraged by fellow bankers and my contacts, advising that I would need to commute to Toronto if a good bank job was expected. Having worked in middle management positions in an international banking atmosphere in the Middle East, I was looking for a descent opening to start with. I got my self registered with all the five banks and started applying for al the all types of jobs being advertised in our region, to my surprise I had responses only, which said Regrets only.

Canadian experience, SISO’s initiative of bringing both the parties the Mentee and Menter at one platform gives an excellent opportunity to the Mentee for showing the skills that he is so confident about and for the Menter to help induct another fellow banker in the profession of his choice. I would suggest to employers to create opportunities for new immigrants by accepting them as Trainees and to hire them once they are trained. In the end of this article I would like to give a piece of advise to all the Mentees and prospective employees;

I was not deterred, started going for Job Fairs and started doing networking, then I heard about SISO & their mentoring program. I got myself registered with SISO beside joined St. Charles Learning Centre, ESL Coop. program to improve my skills. I was also confident if I sat across any one I can sell my self, Mentoring program was the right opportunity I was looking for. I waited for 18th of October the first meeting organized by SISO, prepared my self by reading about various banks from there website, registered for Canadian Securities course (CSC,) got my resume edited and improved. When we were all introduced to the senior bankers of the community by SISO, took the initiative of meeting all of them and share with them my background, I had 3 minutes for each bank and honestly I did well, by the end of this episode I had met all those that mattered. I was very fortunate to have been enlisted for this program as it provided me with an opportunity to be introduced to my Men-

1. Please be prepared from day one, you have to sell your self from the first contact that you may have in Canada, you don’t know who may be looking for one like you

tor from Scotiabank who is a branch manager. My Mentor is an excellent person, in our first meeting he could gather a perfect view about my background, though my resume was very explicit the way I carried my self confirmed every bit of that. He knew that it was a win win situation for both the sides if I was hired, my prospective employer would be getting a professional seasoned banker and I would be getting a job, all that required was to train me little and I can well be placed in branch banking whether lending or investing. Fortunately

a position of Trainee Financial advisor was available and my background matched it accurately, I was interviewed by the bank and luckily got a good offer from the Scotiabank, which I gladly accepted without second thoughts and have not regretted it once. I would like to give 100% credit to SISO; if they had not organized this program I would not had a chance of meeting my Menter. When you are new in the market no one is prepared to give you a chance, every one feels that you do not have the

3. Actions speak louder than words, do not make any misstatement, your resume may bring you close to an interview but you would be caught ultimately. 4. Register for Canadian banking certifications as early as possible, it enhances your skills besides it teaches about banking in Canada. ■ By Ghulam Ali Mohatarem

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The Newcomer Mentoring Program Mentoring is a powerful and popular way for people to learn a variety of personal and professional skills. In fact, mentoring is one of the oldest forms of influence. Most individuals can identify a person who, at

2. Your resume should be written immaculately according to Canadian requirements.

employers. The relationship between Mentor and Mentee is one of the most efficient way for new Canadians to understand the new culture, the new social system as well as the regulations and requirements of dif-


March of 2008, at one of the Mentoring Graduations, 20 mentees received their certificates. Only 4 months after their start in the Mentoring Program, 7 of them have obtained employment in various banks.

Spring, Rejuvenation, Colour, Rebirth and Revitalization… mark the season, which inspires one to rise above prejudices and live together in love, peace and harmony.

To find out more information or to register call: (905) 667-7478.

SISO staff would like to wish all Hamiltonians a Happy New Year and hope that the coming year is filled with Peace, Prosperity, Health, Wealth, Joy and Laughter for each and every one of you. May the spring and spirit of festivities in the month of April fill your lives with renewed energy.

In April of this year, SISO will expand the formalized reach of its MENTORING PROGRAM to include: education, health care and business start-up.

V. Thind and K. Grewal

you artist

some time in their life, had a significant and positive impact on them. Most often, a mentor is a more experienced person who acts as a role model, challenger, guide or cheerleader. Mentoring has become an effective method for businesses to help employees with orientation, career advancement, problem solving, coaching, and support. In addition, mentors can assist employees to deal with the challenges associated with successful, productive, meaningful worklife. Mentoring can assist both newcomers and

ferent occupations in Canada. It also offers the mentor, an opportunity to learn about professional practices in other countries, identify business opportunities, improve services to diverse customers and recruit new talent for his company. Mentoring has been included in the ongoing services offered at SISO since 2001. The most remarkable success has been registered in the banking/financial sector, and is the direct result of the leadership provided by TD Canada Trust. In 2007 three additional banks (Royal Bank, Scotiabank and Bank of Montreal) came on board.

Are an ethnic/cultural ? Do you want to showcase your work and talent? The Voice in Diaspora wants to hear from you to participate in a cultural artistic exhibition taking place fall next year.

905-920-1752 for more information. Also visit our website at

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April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6


Excess Acid In The Body – Negative Consequences! low-grade acidosis (acid body chemistry) because of what we eat. We are, as a nation, chronically acidic. And fewer of us realize what a devastating impact acid can have on our bodies. Below are some of the researches supporting negative impacts of internal acidic environment. Bone Loss and Joint Pain According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a seven-year study1 by the University of California on 9704 women showed that those with chronic acid overload are at greater risk for bone loss than those who have normal pH levels. Why? Because when your body is highly acidic, it will do whatever it takes to return itself to a healthier pH balance. Your body steals the calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium it needs from your bones in order to buffer the tissue acids and they are systematically eaten away. The result? Severe bone loss and joint pain.

“They have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells,” he says. In addition, scientific research reported in the journals Psychosomatic Medicine3 and the American Journal of Managed Care4 recently revealed that lactic acid and uric acid (both released into the body by stress) may promote the growth of abnormal cells. And these are only a few of the damaging effects of chronic acidosis... What Can You Do? Your body chemistry can be changed from acidic and damaging to alkaline and healthy. How? Limit acidic food intake, including: Carbonated drinks: colas and other carbonated drinks create acidosis.

extra ounce of protein per day.) Be aware that not all proteins are acidifying. Eggs, chicken breasts, cottage cheese, yogurt, and tofu are alkalizing, so use them frequently as protein sources. Please note that you should LIMIT, not eliminate acidic foods. We all need a balanced diet to remain healthy, and certainly proteins and fats must be part of that diet. Sources and experts vary in their recommendations, but I simply recommend that you eat 9 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, in addition to whole foods (foods in their most natural state, before refining or processing them). This type of diet will help you create and keep alkaline body chemistry. ■ References Sellemeyer et al. (2001.) American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 73: 118-22.

Bronchial Attacks for Those with Asthma

What is meant by acid overload in the body system? Read this article by Michael Cutler, MD, and see where you think your body is at. Happy reading! Most of us are familiar with acid indigestion, or “heartburn.” However, few of us realize that many people have chronic,

Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine announced that high acid levels are strongly linked to asthma attacks.2 Dr. Benjamin Gaston discovered that shortly before an asthma attack, acid levels in the lungs shot up as much as 1000-fold. This increased acidity contributed to inflammation in the bronchial airways and triggered an attack. As a result of this study, researchers at Duke University are now investigating treatments using antacid therapy. Abnormal Cell Growth According to Nobel prize-winning scientist Dr. Otto Warburg, abnormal cells positively thrive in an acidic environment.

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Youth Initiatives Sri Rama performed all his duty in life with an unattached mind. He was always serene and peaceful. No incident in his life could agitate him. His equanimity to the different situations that life presented was remarkable. Neither was He elated when ...continued from page 11

He heard He was going to be the king of Ayodhya nor was there any dejection in His mind when He was ban-

Gaston et al. (2000.) American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine. 161: 694-699. Orme-Johnson. (1987.) Psychosomatic Medicine. 49: 493507. Orme-Johnson, (1997.) American Journal of Managed Care. Vol. 3, No.1: 135-144.

Refined oils and fats: especially when they exceed 20% of your total intake of calories (refined oils in general are acidifying). Proteins: most animal proteins are acidic, so restrict animal protein intake to your recommended allowance of 10 to 20% of your total day’s food intake -- roughly 3 oz per day for an average person. (Pregnant women are an exception and need an

ished and had to go to reside in the forest for 14 years. Ramnavami reminds us of the great saga of Sri Rama and inspires us to lead a life of truthfulness, devotion to duty, love, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, courage, non-attachment and equanimity. Ramnavami celebrations begin with a prayer to the Sun early in the morning. At midday, when Lord Rama is supposed to have been born, a special prayer is performed. People sing devotional songs in praise of Rama and rock images of him in a cradle to celebrate his birth. Rathyatras or chariot processions of Ram, his wife Sita, brother Lakshman and devotee Hanuman are held from many temples. People gather in thou-

sands on the banks of the sacred river Sarayu for a dip. Some observe a strict fast on this day. Temples are decorated and the image of Lord Rama is richly adorned. The holy ‘Ramayana’ is read in the temples. In Ayodhya, the birthplace of Sri Rama, a big fair is held on this day. In the south of India the “Sri Ramnavami Utsavam” is celebrated for nine days with great fervor and devotion. In temples and at pious gatherings, the learned narrate the thrilling episodes of the ‘Ramayana’. Devotional singers chant the holy name of Rama and celebrate the wedding of Rama with Sita on this day.

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Youth Initiatives between grades five and twelve. Since the program began on May 14, 2007, the following students have participated: April 2008 Mark Cowell, Elizabeth Bagshaw Elementary School in Hamilton, grade 8 Devon Ehler, St. Patrick Elementary School in Hamilton, grade 8 February 2008 Natalya Odoardi, St Joachim Catholic Elementary School in Ancaster, grade 7 Jodie Savari, St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Dundas, grade 10 December 2007

Thank You for reading The Voice in Diaspora Every Month

Andrew Habros, Monseigneur-De-Laval in Hamilton, grade 7 Ethan Smeaton, Millgrove School in Hamilton, grade 5


April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6

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(Michael Cutler, M.D. is a board-certified family physician with more than 17 years of clinical experience. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Tulane Medical School. Dr. Cutler’s practice focuses on integrative solutions to health problems, behavioral and nutritional medicine).

■ November 2007 Breanna Tilban, St. Claire Assisi School in Stoney Creek, grade 8 Kerri-Anne Fragata, Glendale Secondary School in Hamilton, grade 9 October 2007 Alex Jadon, St. Bernadette School in Dundas, grade 5 Lisa Jefferies, St. Thomas School in Waterdown, grade 6 June 2007 Trevor Hachey, Hillcrest School in Hamilton, grade 6 Catherine Flanigan, Sacred Heart Elementary in Hamilton, grade 8 May 2007 Carolyn Stearns, Cardinal Heights in Hamilton, grade 7 Daniel Dumas, Académie Catholique Mère Teresa in Hamilton, grade 10 ■

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April 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 6


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U N I T Y I N D I V E R S I T Y about them- selves are very crucial to the com- munity they live in. The Voice in Diaspora took this opportu...