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

Incredible Women! Incredible Stories!

They left countries very far away, determined to change their lives in a new, amazing, and friendly land that have not ceased to provide shelter and comfort to those that come close to its shores. Many of these women are unsung heroines, whose passages through the rough sometimes slippery roads to successes were borne from unquenchable spirit of self determination and zeal.

These women are ordinary people that chose to do extra-ordinary things. What made their stories worth sharing is the fact that the barriers that despair and destroy many of their peers, made them even more determined to affect positive changes for themselves and the society. These women have stories to tell, stories of hardship, discrimination, poverty, loneliness, fear, un-certainty, then peace, happiness, acceptance, and fulfilment. These are immigrant women and refugees. They came, they saw, they settled. The fact that women fare worse in almost all spheres of life than the male folk did not deter these women from pursuing their dreams. Look around your neighbourhood, and see the faces of these courageous women around you. What do you see? Who work as nannies; in factories; nursing homes, retirement homes; restaurants, coffee shops; and other low-paying jobs? The answer is very clear, WOMEN! Mostly Minority Women! They are the un-sung heroines. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!! (By: Nica Brown) ∞ continued on page 4

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue And Development (21 May)

History of Mothers’ Day Celebration From antiquity, different societies at various times held celebrations in honour of mothers. Most of the celebrations were in honour of female goddesses or and deities. The Egyptians held an annual festival in honour of their goddess Isis who was regarded as the mother of the Pharaohs. The Greeks Celebrated Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. Those in Rome and Asia Minor celebrated Cybele as their major mother deity.

The UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity was adopted unanimously at the 31st UNESCO General Conference (2 November 2001). After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, 185 nations unanimously adopted the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity to proclaim that our cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity. It rejected the claims that a clash of cultures and civilizations is unavoidable, and stressed that intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. The Declaration supports cultural

A later incarnation of a holiday to honour Motherhood came from Europe. It fell on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40 days of fasting preceding Easter Sunday). Early Christians initially used the day to honour the church in which they were baptized, which they knew as their “Mother Church.” This place of worship would be decorated with jewels, flowers

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Summer Opportunities For Hamilton & Ottawa Kids Page 3 Reducing Canada’s Immi- gration Backlog Page 3

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Ontarians Get To Air Their Laundry Page 3 International Students’ Work Permits Changes

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NOW - It’s Time Page 6

Diversity Beyond Ethnicity By Roberto Lavidez The increasing number of immigrants coming to Canada does not necessarily project a welcoming environment for diverse voices to be heard or be granted equal opportunity. In a system where discriminatory practices against visible minorities are tolerated, communities are divided and conquered under the pretext of interactive multiculturalism highlighted in festive regalia and pictographic spectacle.

In Support of Cultural Diversity By Veronica Chris-Ike “Creation draws on the roots of cultural tradition, but flourishes in contact with other cultures. For this reason, heritage in all its forms must be preserved, enhanced and handed on to future generations as a record of human experience and aspirations, so as to foster creativity in all its diversity and to inspire genuine dialogue among cultures” (UNESCO 2001)

Ethnic diversity paints a benevolent picture on the adoptive country where the government encourages immigration but does not expect immigrants to take part in shaping policies that truly represents a multicultural society.

Canadian society, like most nations, is a pluralistic one. The wave of migration has brought people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds to settle here and pursue the Canadian dream. This diversity is more striking these days as one walks down the streets of Hamilton or other cosmopolitan cities and see the

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SISO Calendar Page 7 The Future Is In Our Hands Page 7 Sewing Club For Newcomer Women Page 8

SWISH Page 8 The True Power Within A Woman Page 9 Global Day Of Prayer Page 9 Women Sleep More Page 10


The Voice in Diaspora

This month marks the celebration of Mothers’ Day; World Prayer Day; and Cultural Diversity and Dialogue Day (UNESCO). In this edition, we are privileged to share some incredible stories of some women whose life experiences are like reading a fiction novel. These women are incredible creatures. The past assumption that women are the weaker sex has no place nowadays as women’s contributions to the society have equalled those of men. Suffice this to say that success is not a measure of physical prowess, but attainment of that desirable goal that erases negative thoughts of self doubts. Women that left their familiar countries of origin and travelled many miles to a new and un-familiar territory to settle and raise their families are not ordinary folks. It takes courage, determination, blind faith and some times desperation to do what some of these women have done. They deserve the best. One thing is to be successful when there are favourable conditions in place to make that happen. Another thing is to succeed even in the face of adversity and hopelessness. Most immigrant women and refugees in our communities have done and continued to do brave things that need to be commended. These women face double tragedies, being women, and visible minorities. The Voice in Diaspora devotes this month to all these women who, irrespective of the challenges ahead of them, continue to leave this society much better than they found it. Bravo! Cultural diversity is reality; it is not a myth. We are living it every day whether we like it or not. One does not walk or drive pass any street in Hamilton and other urban areas in Canada without noticing the different races and colors that make up the populace. Incredible! What needs to be done is to implement the principles that signatories to the UNESCO Cultural Diversity Declaration signed. Article 3 - Cultural diversity as a factor in development states: “Cultural diversity widens the range of options open to everyone; it is one of the roots of development, understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence .” As Canada joins the world in celebrating this important event, we call for a reflection on what this country has done to improve life conditions of ethno/cultural populations, and what needs to be done. Finally, the Voice in Diaspora and SISO wish our numerous mothers “Happy Mothers’ Day 2008.” Thanks Veronica Chris-Ike (Publisher/Editor) The Voice in Diaspora

Feedback We Need Your

May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7

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

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, Nica Brown, Veronica Chris-Ike, Yassah Kollie, Dr. Nathalie Xian Yi Yan, Carolann Fernades 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

“Corrections” In the May 2008 edition of the Voice in Diaspora, Mr John Dolbec, CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce was mistakenly addressed as Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President T. Macleod under our “Community Happenings” page. We offer our apologies and regret any embarrassment this might have cost him. (From: The Voice in Diaspora)

Summer Opportunities For Hamilton & Ottawa Kids

McGuinty Government Expands Successful Learning and Recreation Program This summer, the Ontario government will help young people in Hamilton and Ottawa enjoy basketball clinics, art classes and leadership training at area schools. The province will help non-profit groups deliver these summer activities to keep young people safe and active. This program, called Focus on Youth, is especially important for low-income families who have limited access to learning and recreation opportunities when school ends for the year. School space will be offered free of charge to community groups who successfully apply. Local school boards will post details on how to apply in the coming weeks. Last year, the government launched the program in over 100 Toronto schools. About 11,000 young people participated. Some 380 youth were hired as coaches, ...continued from page 1

History of Mothers’ Day and other offerings. In North America, the history of mothers’ day celebration traced back to Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870. She composed ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ 12 years earlier, which showed her distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War. Howe called on Mother’s to come together and protest what she saw as the futility of their Sons killing the Sons of other Mothers. In 1873 women’s groups in 18 North American cities observed this new Mother’s holiday. Howe initially funded many of these celebrations, but most of them died out once she stopped footing the bill. The city of Boston, however, would continue celebrating Howe’s holiday for 10 more years. Despite the decided failure of her holiday, Howe had nevertheless planted the seed that would blossom into what we know as Mother’s Day today. A West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began to celebrate an adaptation of Howe’s holiday. In order to re-unite families and neighbours that had been divided between the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, the group held a Mother’s Friendship Day. After Anna Reeves Jarvis died, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in remembrance of her mother and in honour of peace. In 1908, Anna petitioned the superintendent of the church where her Mother had spent over 20 years teaching Sunday school. Her request was honoured, and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day celebration took place at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia and a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The West Virginia event drew a congregation of 407 and Anna Jarvis arranged for white carnations—her Mother’s favourite flower—to adorn the patrons. Two carnations were given to every

counsellors and staff. This year, Ontario is expanding the program to Hamilton and Ottawa and increasing funding by 50 per cent to $6 million. Toronto will receive $4 million, Ottawa $1.23 million and Hamilton $765,000. “All our kids deserve the chance to enjoy safe, educational opportunities in the summer — and we want to be there for them, “said Premier Dalton McGuinty. “Not every child in Hamilton gets to go to summer camp, so we’re going to bring those kinds of opportunities to children,” said Sophia Aggelonitis, MPP for Hamilton Mountain. QUICK FACTS Studies show that children who spend 20 to 35 hours a week in activities like sports, music and art are significantly more likely to succeed in school. On average, Canadian children aged 10 to 16 spend six hours a day in front of their TV, playing video games and/or using the computer Ottawa has 195 elementary schools and 45 high schools. Hamilton has 152 elementary schools and 27 high schools. ■

New Legislation To Target auto Theft And Property Crime Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the month of April unveiled details of new amendments to the Criminal Code that will target auto theft and property crime. The Prime Minister, accompanied by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Treasury Board President Vic Toews, made the announcement at a stolen car impound lot in Winnipeg. “Car theft is big business for organized crime but with this legislation, we’re aiming to put them out of business,” said Prime Minister Harper. “We’re also going to make life much more difficult for anybody who

Reducing Canada’s Immigration Backlog Canada needs a more responsive immigration system where we reduce wait times so that families are reunited faster and skilled workers arrive sooner. That’s why, on March 14, the Government of Canada proposed changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The changes mean that those who submitted an application before February 27, 2008, would continue to be processed under the current system. However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) would have greater flexibility in processing new applications, especially from skilled workers. Anyone would still be able to apply, but CIC would no longer be required to process all new skilled worker applications. Under the proposed changes, the Minister would have the authority to issue instructions to immigration officers on the processing of applications, including in relation to the jobs available in Canada, so that people with those skills and experience can be brought to Canada more quickly. However, as is the case now, the decisions on individual applications would still be made by CIC immigration officers. The Minister cannot reverse these decisions. The instructions would be made public, and would reflect commitments to provinces and territories. They would be published in the Canada Gazette, reported in the Department’s annual report to Parliament and posted on CIC’s website. “Our objective is to continue to ensure that families are reunited and that qualified workers get here sooner, while respecting the fundamental principle of fairness.” ■ Minister Diane Finley knowingly trafficks in any kind of stolen property.” Auto theft costs Canadians an estimated $1 billion a year, not including the $600 million it costs car insurers, which is largely passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. The new legislation will give police and prosecutors better tools to fight car thieves, particularly organized crime rings that steal vehicles, alter the Vehicle Identification Number, and re-sell them in Canada or abroad, or dismantle stolen vehicles in so-called “chop shops” and re-sell the parts. The new legislation will make it a crime to: • Alter, destroy or remove a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). • Knowingly, sell, give, transfer, transport, send or deliver goods that have been acquired criminally. • Possess property known to be obtained through crime for the purpose of trafficking. In addition, the new legislation grants the Canada Border Services Agency the authority to identify and prevent stolen property from leaving the country. “We’re closing some of the legal loopholes that organized crime has been driving stolen vehicles through for decades”, said Prime Minister Harper. “As a result of these actions, Canadians will experience fewer car thefts and fewer break-ins.” ■

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Ontarians Get To Air Their Laundry McGuinty Government Lifts Ban On Outdoor Clotheslines This summer, Ontarians will have the choice to dry their laundry on an outdoor clothesline. Premier Dalton McGuinty said the province is putting an end to some restrictions that prevent people from using outdoor clotheslines. This

includes agreements between home builders and buyers in some towns and cities in Ontario. Using outdoor clotheslines instead of electric dryers can: Save consumers $30 per year when they reduce their dryer use by 25 per cent. Cut greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce demand on the power grid — home dryers use about 900 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. QUOTES “There’s a whole generation of kids growing up today who think a clothesline is a wrestling move. We want parents to have the choice to use the wind and the sun to dry their clothes for free,” said Premier McGuinty. “We want every Ontario family to have the tools they need to save energy and save money. Just using a clothesline instead of a dryer can make a significant difference to your pocketbook, reduce demand on the electricity grid, and help keep our air clean,” said Energy Minister Gerry Phillips. QUICK FACTS Florida, Utah and Hawaii have laws in place that ensure people can use clotheslines. Similar legislation is being considered in Vermont. Electric clothes dryers use about six per cent of electricity in the home — as much as a refrigerator running 24-7. Over the course of a year, five clothes dryers could result in roughly the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as an average-size car. ■

International Students’ Work Permits Changes Government of Canada introduces changes to work permits for international students, making Canada more attractive for skilled individuals The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, on April 21, 2008, announced changes to work permits for international students who graduate from eligible programs at certain Canadian post-secondary institutions, making it easier to attract foreign students to Canada. Effective immediately, and for the first time, these international students would be able to obtain an open work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, with no restrictions on the type of employment and no requirement for a job offer. In addition, the duration of the work permit has been extended to three years across the country. Previously, the program only allowed international stu∞ continued on page 11

May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7

Yassah Kollie’s Experience In A Refugee Camp Profile : Yassah Kollie, Dob

: January 1, 1964

Country of Origin : Liberia PART 1: REFUGEE CAMP In 1993 I fled my country, Liberia, because of civil war. Before the time of the war, I was living a very happy life with my family. I decided to leave after experiencing the trauma of losing many things that were important to me and necessary for the well-being of my family. My children and I walked on foot through the bushes during the course of many nights in order to reach the Guinea border. It was too dangerous to attempt this journey during the daylight because of the possibility of being spotted and killed by rebels. When we finally reached the border we were welcomed and then directed to a refugee camp.

The camp that we were placed in was equipped to host anywhere from 20 to 35, 000 refugees from both Sierra Leone and Liberia. Living in the camp was a terrible time, especially after suffering from intimidation, harassment, and discrimination from the rebels in my own country. I came to realize that I had left one place of suffering only to find another. In the refugee camp, we met the same attitude of discrimination and contempt from some members of the Guinea population. It was like taking my hand from the mouth of a lion and putting it into the mouth of a giant tiger. During this time, my husband was killed. I was left alone with my three children. Because of my losses, the UNHCR decided to help me by advocating on my behalf through their protection officer to find me a safer country so that I could resettle with my children. I am very grateful to Al-

mighty God, UNHCR, citizenship, and the Canadian Immigration for welcoming my children and me into Canada. The refugee situation camp where I came from was, to me, a place of death. PART II: CANADA Landing as an Immigrant in Canada was like entering into a paradise heaven. We first arrived in April of 2005. I was so happy that I cried. The woman who was completing my immigration documentation at the airport asked me the reason for my crying. I told her that it was a long story. PART III: HAMILTON From the airport we were brought straight to Hamilton. There, we were welcomed by Resettlement Assistant Program (RAP) representatives from Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO). They gave us a food allowance and helped to provide us with temporary accommoda-

Dr. Nathalie Xian Yi Yan - An Enigma Where do I start to share my experiences talking with Nathalie? Her story is powerful and encouraging to any one who she lets in into her world, her experiences. It is a story of strength, courage, foresight, tenacity and ambition. There are few immigrant women whose life experiences mirror that of Nathalies’. Though her appearance is not as imposing as her achievements, still, one is hit with that interior steel frame that made her excel where most have failed. Incredible is all I could muster after my interview with her. Indeed, Nathalie is an enigma! Brief Introduction: Nathalie is 42 years old, born and raised in China. She had earned B.S. in Biochemi-

cal pharmaceutics and MBA back in China. She is the fourth generation of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners in her family business. Nathalie and her family are residents of Hamilton Mountain. Read the excerpts of the Voice in Diaspora’s interview with Nathalie. Q: Which year did you come to Canada and what made you do so? A: I migrated to Canada around November 20th in 2000 from China, for the dream of being free, I mean freedom. Q: What were your experiences/challenges as a newcomer to Canada? A: I came to Canada with limited knowledge about this country and with broken

Carolann Fernades A Social Activist Carolann Fernandes came to Canada from Bombay, India with her husband and two children in 1971, a third one was born in Canada two years later. Like most newcomers, she was confronted with the challenges of getting her credentials recognized. Carolann went to Brock University to get her qualifications “upgraded” after which she started her career as an elementary school teacher in Hamilton Catholic School Board in 1973. Three years later, she was recruited to work on a pilot programme that spearheaded the integration of special needs students in the regular school system. In 1981, she was entrusted with the implementation of the integration of visually impaired, blind and deaf students. In 1996, Carolann was promoted to Vice Principal, but in 1999, she made a conscious decision to take early retirement

May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7

so that she could spend more time with her grandchildren. Carolann identifies with realities that confront immigrant women. She told The Voice In Diaspora that “as a person that came from a privileged and protected background, I had to dig deep to hold on to my self esteem, cultural and faith values in order to deal with the biases that were demonstrated towards me as a woman of colour.” She continued that most immigrant women do not have the luxury of staying at home, but are required to work so as not to put their quality of life at risk… juggling the roles of being caring mothers and supportive wives while balancing full-time job. Fulfilling career takes a lot of courage, stamina, and optimism, and that is the stuff that immigrant women are made of, Carolann stated.

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accent of the English language. I taught myself English mainly through my three years volunteer works. The most beneficial one was reading the bible to seniors. It was very difficult settling down here because of culture shock coupled with lack of social ties here. Then in 2000 and 2001, I could not find Chinese restaurants and grocery stores, and I had no where to purchase or eat my native food. I gained 30 pounds in two years. My life was lonely and I always felt lost being in this strange land, strange culture. When I walked down the streets of Hamilton, few said hello; no one offered smiles. This experience has taught me to always wear a smile on my face especially when

tion. The next day we were also greeted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). I was told that I was the first Liberian immigrant in Hamilton and that my potential success as a resident in this city would influence the number of other Liberians who would be sent here by CIC. Since then there are now 500 more Liberians living in the city of Hamilton. In terms of my experience with SISO, I have never seen a social organization work harder to integrate new immigrants into the community. The staff are proactive as they advocate for the interest of their clients. As a newcomer, I decided to join hands with SISO as a volunteer in order to help them provide the same services for my fellow Liberians as they had for me. SISO has provided me with training, lifeskills, and language acquisition through the course of several different programs. ❖ to be continued

I see newcomers as I can relate to their experiences of feeling forlorn and lost in the midst of people. Finding a job in my field was not easy as I was required to have Canadian experience. SISO came to my aid through the STICK program, Host program and Mentorship program which all connected me to be further retrained as a pharmacy assistant. I had worked in 7 drug stores, 4 hours there, afternoons or weekends there. I used the bus transit for 5 years to get from one job to the other. I cooked once on Sundays for my next 7 days meal. I kept posting my house hunting information, and moved residences 9 times within two and half years. ❖ to be continued

Proposed Amendments to Immigration And Refugee Proection Act (IRPA) Contained in Bill C-50 Questions and Answers Q: What are the key changes being proposed? a) Currently the law says (at section 11) that an officer “shall” issue a visa if the applicant meets the requirements of the Act. This is changed in the bill to say an officer “may” issue a visa if the applicant meets the requirements of the Act. b) Currently the law says (at section 25) that the Minister “shall” examine an application for humanitarian and compassionate consideration (H&C). This is changed in the bill to “may” examine the application if the applicant is outside Canada. c) The bill gives the power to the Minister to issue instructions for the processing of applications from economic immigrants and H&C applicants outside Canada. The instructions could establish categories of applications to be processed, determine the order in which the applications should be processed, fix a limit on the number to be processed, and provide rules for repeat applications. d) The bill empowers the government to retain, return or otherwise dispose of applications that, following the instructions, are not processed. This only applies to applications subject to instructions, i.e., economic immigrants and H&C applicants outside Canada. Q: Do these changes affect refugees and Family Class applicants? The bill does not allow instructions in the case of refugee applicants or Family Class applicants, so these applicants will not be directly affected by new rules about priori-

ties for processing, limits on numbers to be processed, etc, and these applicants must be processed. However, refugees and people seeking family reunification could be affected by the other changes: All classes, including refugees and Family Class, are affected by the change from “shall” to “may” in section 11. This change means that refugees and Family Class applicants will no longer have the same legal right to permanent residence if they meet the requirements of the law. Overseas humanitarian and compassionate applications are often the only way for refugees and others to be reunited with immediate family in Canada. The bill will eliminate the legal right to have an overseas H&C application examined. Q: Why do people need to seek family reunification through an overseas H&C application? The following are two situations where the law does not provide children with a right to family reunification and humanitarian and compassionate applications are the only recourse: Separated refugee children in Canada cannot apply for family reunification with their parents and siblings who are outside Canada. The only way for these children to be reunited with their parents and siblings is through H&C. The excluded family member rule (Regulation 117(9)(d)) keeps many children unfairly separated from their parents, and separates spouses. The only way for affected families to overcome the exclusion is through H&C. (See CCR release, Chil-

SISO Celebrates New Young Authors! A celebration of SISO’s first literacy Youth HOST programme was held on Thursday, April 24th at the Hamilton Public Library.

Five students enrolled in the programme were honoured and celebrated for their courage and wonderful efforts in putting their very own stories down on paper and creating beautiful storybooks. These new young authors worked diligently with their peer mentors who coached, encouraged and journeyed with them through this exciting and empowering programme. The Burmese children and teens that were chosen for this successful pilot project were very reserved and shy at first. But, with time they developed a warm friendship with their peer mentors and initiated storytelling of their very own. The module that was used for this programme was launched with an appearance from TV Treehouse’s very own “Grandma Ella”. She shared sto-

ries and tips on oral storytelling with the students and mentors. When it came down to authoring their very own books, Robert Munsch came and shared his passion of storytelling and spoke of his hardships and successes in becoming a worldwide famous children’s author. Mr. Munsch explained to the audience at LIUNA Station that he too found school a challenge, but he found his wanting to make children laugh to be his passion and he turned that passion into a full time job of book making. He then gifted each child with storybooks and took the time to autograph each one. What an exciting experience for every child, teen and adult in the room! The children invited their families and friends to share in this celebration of storytelling with Robert Munsch and in their very own Storybook Festival honouring their great accomplishments in book making. Each one quietly, but proudly, accepted their congratulations along with their certificates from Loyd Kibaara, Youth HOST Coordinator & Programme Co-Facilitator, Carmen Condó, ESL Teacher & Programme Co-Facilitator and Charmaine Routery, Assessment Coordinator & inspiration for this module. We, at SISO, wish each one of our young authors much success and may their stories always be colourful and full of passion!

dren separated from their families by immigration rules, 7 April 2008, http://www. 7april08.htm) Q: Will the changes affect people seeking family reunification through H&C? The government has suggested that they would continue to examine all family related H&C applications. However, the bill eliminates the legal right to have an overseas H&C application examined. If the bill is passed, this government or a future government could issue instructions leading to family related H&C applications not being examined. It is also important to recognize that there are other compelling situations not related to family reunification where an H&C application is the only recourse. They might never be examined if this bill is passed. Q: Why is the government eliminating the right to have an overseas H&C application examined? The government has suggested that there are large numbers of applicants in the Economic Class who seek H&C because they do not meet the points. However, they have not made public the actual numbers. It would seem surprising if many people are doing this as it would be quite expensive and have little chance of success. Q: Will the changes allow the backlog of immigration applications to be eliminated? No. The bill only affects applicants made after February 27, 2008. The backlog is made up of applications from before that date and they will not be subject to the new instructions.

Q: What will happen to applications that are not processed? The government has suggested that where an application is not going to be processed, it will be returned and the fee reimbursed. However, the government is giving itself the power to retain, return or “otherwise dispose of” applications not processed. This means that they will not be legally obliged to return the application and reimburse the fee – they could simply discard the application. Q: What will be in the instructions for processing Economic Class applicants? It is difficult to say, since the government has chosen not to publish any draft instructions. The Minister has suggested that they could identify certain categories of worker for priority processing (she gave the example of medical professionals). (See CBC, The House, 5 April 2008). It also seems likely that the government plans to set limits on the number of applications to be processed: once the limit is reached, further applications will not be processed in that year and can be simply returned. Should we be concerned about the proposed amendments? What can we do? Organizations and individuals can join their voices to those calling for the amendments to be separated out from the budget bill, C-50, and instead debated in full as a distinct bill to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Canadian Council for Refugees: HYPERLINK “ c50faq.htm”

Tribute to All Mothers She is a miracle woman, she never seems to sleep! She cooks and she cleans, She sews, she plays, She dances and she sings. Mother of Mine Oh! She tends to all my needs. She gently holds me in her arms, And rocks me to sleep. She is fragrant like the flower, Tender like the vine. Strong like a pillar, Cool as the moon, bright as the sunshine. She is a puzzle! Sugar when she loves us, but pepper when she scolds Patient when she listens to our prattle, But, impatiently, shoos us to school! w w w.thevoiceindiasp

She listens to our stories, But tells us many more. We see the world through her eyes. Her words paint a distant shore. Do these words sound familiar? Do these words remind us of the love, strength, tenderness and care showered on us by our mothers? These words hold universal appeal because a ‘mother’ is a miracle woman with amazing powers and skills. This tribute was written using the responses of children who were asked about their mothers by the LSSP workers in the Library. SISO staff would like to wish all Hamiltonian Mothers a Happy Mother’s Day. May your years be filled with love that you graciously shower on each one of us! The LSSP Team

May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7

SISO’s Volunteers Make A World of Difference!

Employment Services Calendar May & June 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: My 13-16; May 27-30; June 3-6 and June 17-20 All Classes from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration: Required. Call (905) 667-7482 for Assessment and Registration. Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Program

Volunteers at SISO come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some are students, some are working full time and raising families, and some are retired. Some are newcomers to Canada, and others were born here. But they all share something in common: a desire to make the settlement process for newcomers to our community a little easier. SISO volunteers coach, translate, mentor, and train. They donate, coordinate, befriend, and lend a helping hand. They teach, facilitate, share and play. In short, they make a difference every day in the lives of newcomers. SISO staff had an opportunity to express our appreciation to our volunteers with an appreciation event on April 15. Over 150

people came out to enjoy dinner, a speech by Mark Chamberlain (2007 Hamilton Citizen of the Year), and the awarding of certificates and small tokens of our thanks. Volunteering at SISO benefits more than just the newcomers. After the event, one of our volunteers expressed it this way: “Thank you for introducing us to volunteering. It has made us so happy and changed us as a family. Volunteering is AWESOME!” Thank you to each and every one of our AWESOME volunteers! Photo caption: SISO Youth Program Volunteers Carolyn Vanderlip

NOW - It’s Time

A combination of Language Training and Workplace Exposure to assist with English and workplace communication skills necessary for employment or further training/education. Format: English language training in a classroom setting (Mohawk College) using job search related topics, combined with workplace exposure through 2-3 weeks of 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) 667-7483.

Bridging for Engineering Modularized program to assist internationally-trained professionals access employment or licensing in Engineering Format: Evening and weekend courses delivered through SISO, Mohawk College and McMaster University, in partnership with PEO and OACETT. 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)

A Settlement Workers in Schools-Hamilton (SWISH) Leadership Initiative NOW (Newcomer Orientation Week) is an exciting opportunity for newcomer youth, who will be starting High School in September. Last year during the month of August, as an initiative of Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS), NOW was piloted in 8 Ontario High Schools. In Hamilton, Barton Secondary School participated in this new project. It was a partnership between the school teachers, the school settlement worker and the Peer Leaders. Due to the success of the NOW pilot project last year, this year we are expanding the program to 6 high schools in Hamilton. The beautiful thing about NOW is its uniqueness. It is a fast paced program, beginning with 4 days of training for the Peer Leaders. The Peer Leaders are chosen from high school students who have attended the school for at least one year. They are positive and willing to

May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7

learn new skills. They must also be enthusiastic, sensitive and aware of multiculturalism, anti-racism and diversity. NOW provides them with the opportunity to hone their leadership skills, group facilitation abilities, and to gain experience for their resumes. They can even earn some money too. Think of Newcomer youth, not only attending a new school, but in a new country with new and different traditions. NOW comes along and provides support and guidance through relationships with the teachers, School Settlement workers and Peer Leaders. The wonderful thing is that it also assists the school administration, teachers, parents as well as the community. Instead of beginning school in September with little to no knowledge of the system and facing many barriers, the Newcomer students are provided with a wide range of information, experiences and support to help them succeed in school.

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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) 667-7476, ext. 372

New! Bridging for Accounting, Banking and Finance Modularized program to assist internation-

ally-trained professionals access employment or licensing in Accounting, Banking or Finance Sector. Format: Evening and weekend courses delivered through SISO and Mohawk College, along with information sessions delivered in partnership with the regulatory bodies for the sector. Qualifying Requirements: Benchmark 7 through Canadian Language Benchmark Placement (CLBPT) Test. International education and experience related to accounting, banking or finances. Schedule: Most courses conducted on evening and weekends Registration: Required. Call Stephanie: (905) 667-7476.

New! Bridging to Employment (All Occupations) Modularized program which assists internationally-trained professionals and tradespeople to access employment commensurate to their education, skills and experience. Format: Evening and weekend courses delivered through SISO and Mohawk College, along with information sessions delivered in partnership with some regulatory bodies. Qualifying Requirements: Benchmark 5 through Canadian Language Benchmark Placement (CLBPT) Test. International education and experience. Schedule: Most courses conducted on evening and weekends Registration: Required. Call (905) 667-7483.

New! Business Start-up Are you a newcomer with an entrepreneurial spirit and lots of good ideas? Would you like to explore opportunities to start your own business? This program will assist you through a combination of information sessions and individual assistance from SISO and partners. Format: Information Sessions, personalized assistance, advice and guidance. Networking sessions and opportunities to meet potential business partners/leads. Qualifying Requirements: Benchmark 5 through Canadian Language Benchmark Placement (CLBPT) Test. International education and experience. Registration: Required. Call Chouki (905) 6677476.

New! Mentoring Program Are you an internationally –educated professional looking for opportunities to develop a professional network for the health care or education sectors? The Mentoring Program will provide a mentor to guide or assist you in the areas of licensing or access to employment in your field. Format: Information Sessions, personalized assistance, advice and guidance. Qualifying Requirements: Benchmark 7 through Canadian Language Benchmark Placement (CLBPT) Test. International education and experience. Registration: Required. Call Victor (905) 6677476.

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.

SISO Host Youth Program

The Future Is In Our Hands

I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful month of April! I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of a great new project taking place in cities around the world, including Hamilton, Toronto and many other cities across Canada. The “Fix Our World” was created to unite and educate the world, especially youth, in the areas of Poverty, HIV/AIDS, Global Health, the Environment, Climate Change and Peace/Conflict. “Fix our world” will be holding its first Festival on Saturday May 18, 2008 from 12 pm to 9 pm. A Candlelight Memorial will be held at 8 pm. There will be music and bands, guest speakers, workshops and many more fun activities for youth. I encourage all youth to participate! Location: Philthy McNasty’s (1441 Upper James Street) Website: 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 It has been a remarkable season for the HOST Youth Soccer Team! Our latest piece of exciting news is that the team had an opportunity to play an exhibition game against the Mount Hamilton rep team at Ivor Wynne Stadium. Everyone had a blast playing the game in such an impressive venue. It is bittersweet to see this season come to a close,

By Yara Farran

mer soccer program to get started. The League runs late June to early September, on Monday and Wednesday evenings at Eastwood Park. If you are interested in registering with the summer program please contact the HOST Youth team. From Deanna, Sport & Recreation Youth Worker Youth Programming Soccer! Youth! You! SISO has opportunities for you to get involved! We are looking for Volunteer Soccer Coaches for the Newcomer Youth Soccer League for youth aged 12-18 years. The League runs late June to early September, and the average commitment is one game and one practice per week on Monday and Wednesday evenings at a central Hamilton location. To learn more about how to get involved as a volunteer contact Susan at 905-667-7496, scheeseman@

Our minds are usually cluttered with our never-ending thoughts and dreams, the latest homework that is quickly piling on our desks or the most recent drama that has been plaguing our school yards, as our eyes are coming to a close. We have dreams about the future, that great big elephant in the room. We ponder on the meaning of the future, what is this ‘future’ that everyone so wholeheartedly talks about? Is it about next week’s exam, or about tomorrow’s hangout? But before we hastily start wondering in our sleep, we should look in the mirror, because in the end the future is staring us straight in the eye. We are the future. We are the youth of today, the strong foundation for tomorrow. They say that with age comes wisdom, that the older we are, the more we’ll understand about our world. But why can’t we understand about the world around us now? Why can’t we contribute to our community today? The answer is we can! We can do whatever we put our minds to. We cannot put limits on ourselves. Let’s show the world what we can do. We are the future, whether we like it or not. So no one is saying that we have to sit lazily wasting our Saturdays on a few bags of chips and movie rentals, we’ve got the whole world waiting outside for us. Look at the possibilities that keep on building up. Instead of wasting our weekends, why don’t we get involved in our community, help others and have fun doing so? In this great city of ours we have endless promise to be something great. The key is to be you, and do what truly makes you happy. If you’re an artist why don’t you showcase your art in local galleries, if you’re a people person who thrives off helping others you can volunteer at events or help out at homeless shelters? We are such diverse and unique people with varying talents and passions. If we apply what we love to helping others and to improving our community, everyone wins, including ourselves.

but we are all eagerly looking forward for the sum-

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May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7

Sewing Club For Newcomer Women

aba at 289-244-2307, Shelair at 289-244-2306 and Kamal 905512-8673 to register.

SWISH Title: Multicultural Event Description: the celebration of our Multicultural composition –“A taste of the world”- is an annual event at Central public school. All parents and their children are invited Format: Drop-in Qualifying Requirements: Central Public School Parents & Students Location/Complete Address: Central Public School, 75 Hunter St. W. Date & Time: Thursday, May 1st 4:45 P.M – 6:30 P.M Registration: For information call Ghada Cheaib 289-244-2304

Title: Kindergarten Orientation Description: Kindergarten orientation for the new JK & SK students (2008-2009) Format: quired

For many, immigrating to a new country means learning new skills which are crucial for social integration and for fulfilling financial needs. To provide help with that process SISO offers newcomer women an opportunity to develop an employable skill through its Sewing Club. The women’s sewing club runs on a weekly basis for a series of 10 to 12 sessions. Newcomer women are invited to learn basic sewing skills through the help of volunteer instructors. This program is designed to provide a safe and inclusive environment where participants can gain employable skills and build their social support system by meeting other women. We are very thankful to our partners Jamesville community centre for providing us the space and the sewing machines, and to The Junior League of Hamilton- Burlington for their financial contributions towards the purchase of additional sewing machines. For more information or to join our next sessions please contact Nazia at (905) 667-7476 Ext.341



Qualifying Requirements: Chedoke Middle School Parents& students Location/Complete Address: Chedoke Middle School, 500 Bendamere Ave Date & Time: Thursday, May 8th 5:00 P.M – 7:00 P.M Registration: For information call Ghada Cheaib 289-244-2304

Title: School Open House Description: Open house for parents of children attending Lake Avenue School. Format: No registration required Qualifying Requirements: Families of students attending Lake Avenue School. Location/Complete Address: Lake Avenue School. 157 Lake Avenue N. Hamilton. Date & Time: Thursday May 08, 08, 4:30 -6:30 pm. Registration: No registration required.

Title: Helmet Safety Session Description: The session is about Helmet safety and regulations for both parents and students Format: quired



Qualifying Requirements: Location/Complete Address: Central Public School, 75 Hunter St. W. Date & Time: Thursday, May 9th 2:00 P.M – 3:00 P.M Registration: For information call Ghada Cheaib at 289-244-2304

Title: Women’s Health Description: Information session for the women living in Lake Avenue neighborhood about their health issues. Format: Registration is open. Qualifying Requirements: Women of South Asian origin, 18 years of age or older to participate Location/Complete Address: Dominic Agostino Riverdale Community Centre-150 Violet Drive, Hamilton.

May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7

Title: Kindergarten Orientation Description: Kindergarten orientation for the new JK & SK students (2008-2009) Format: quired



Qualifying Requirements: Central Public School Parents & Students Location/Complete Address: Central Public School, 75 Hunter St. W. Date & Time: Thursday, May 15th 4:15 P.M – 5:30 P.M Registration: For information call Ghada Cheaib 289-244-2304

Title: Safety at Work for Youth Description: Safety at work Workshop for Newcomer Students at MacNab High school Format: quired



Qualifying Requirements: MacNab High school ESL Students Only Location/Complete Address: MacNab Secondary School, 145 Magnolia Dr. Date & Time: May, 16th 10:30 A.M -11:30 P.M Registration: Ghada Cheaib 289-244-2304, Dana Kim 289244-2303

Title: Job Search Workshop Description: Job Search Workshop, with the collaboration of SISO’s Employment Program Format: Drop-in Qualifying Requirements: SJAM Parents and Students Location/Complete Address:  Sir John A Macdonald School Date & Time: May 15 2008, 1:00PM Registration: For information call Azeem Alizerig at 289-244-2301

Title: Law Liability Session Description: Law Liability session, delivered by an officer from Hamilton Police Service Format: Drop-In Qualifying Requirements: SJAM Parents and Students Location/Complete Address:  Sir John A Macdonald School Date & Time: May 29 2008 (tentative, call to confirm) Registration: For information call Azeem Alizerig at 289-244-2301

Title: Orientation Session Description: Orientation Session for Parents and students about SWISH and the School system for Arabic and Somali Speaking Clients Format: Drop-in Qualifying Requirements: Sanford Ave Parents and Students Location/Complete Sanford Avenue


Title: Taxation Session for Youth

Date & Time: May 28 2008 (tentative, call to confirm)

Description: Taxation Workshop for Newcomer Students at MacNab High School

Registration: For information call Azeem Alizerig at 289-244-2301

Format: quired



Qualifying Requirements: MacNab High school ESL Students Only Location/Complete Address: MacNab Secondary School, 145 Magnolia Dr. Date & Time: May, 16th 11:30 A.M -12:30 P.M. Registration: Ghada Cheaib 289-244-2304, Dana Kim 289244-2303

Title: Teenage Brain Description: Working Together To Keep Our Children Safe. Guest Speaker: Dr. Jean Clinton, McMaster University, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, and Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatric and Behavioural Neuroscience Format: Registration required Qualifying Requirements: Parents of Students attending Delta Secondary School, Glendale Secondary School and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. Parents of Grade 7 and 8 of the feeder schools are also welcome to participate. Location/Complete Address: Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School – 1715 Main Street East, Hamilton Date & Time: Tuesday May 27, 2008, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm.

Date & Time: Monday May 12, 2008 at 11:30 a.m.

Pizza supper from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Registration: Please call Tayy-

Registration: Call 905-546-CITY between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

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Monday to Friday by May 23, 08

Title: Dental Health Session Description: Dr. H. Farran, Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre Format: Drop-In Qualifying Requirements: Sanford Avenue Parents and Students Location/Complete Sanford Avenue


Date & Time: May 26 2008 (tentative, call to confirm) Registration: For information call Azeem Alizerig at 289-244-2301

LSSP Title: Bone Health with Physical Activity messages Description: The Public health, public library and SISO offer a series of Health Education Sessions for the Chinese community to empower the immigrant community of Hamilton to improve access to health knowledge and services Format: Pre-registration required and is limited to 20 Adults Qualifying Requirements: Chinese community Adult Location/Complete Address: Central Library – Dundas Room, 55 York Boulevard Date & Time: Friday, May 16, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. Registration: Please call Sharron at (905) 512-9538 or Lisa at (905)546-2424-3314 to register

Every month the Voice in Diaspora will try to publish articles from different faith groups

THE TRUE POWER WITHIN A WOMAN ciety? I think that it is time we decipher this confusion that may have crept into the church. Where does the power of a woman really lie? What eternal influence is a woman able to make as she carries herself through this lifetime. I am reminded of two amazing women of God who were able to tap into the true power within and are still impacting the body of Christ today.

In today’s society there is much conflict among women concerning where their rightful place may be. The feminist unequivocally believes in the equal right to propel themselves into what some identify as a man’s world. Every area that men can and should excel, feminists believe women have that same right and should not be dissuaded any other way from pursuing the same. Looking into this point of view leads one to wonder how does this fit in the church as women are pursuing a relationship with God and yet still desiring to educate themselves, maintain careers, raise children, and preserve the ideal marriage. Is the true power that women embody dictated by her attire, her speech, her educational level or even her status in so-

Global Day of Prayer– (On Pentecost Sunday, 11 May 2008) If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chron.7: 14) In July 2000 God captured the heart of a South African Christian businessman, Gra-

It is from the scripture 2 Timothy 1:5 that we hear about the faith of Lois and Eunice. Paul writes, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded is in thee also.” The faith of two women undeniably was imparted into a young man named Timothy who in essence took that impartation and helped to propagate the gospel of Christ during the early church age. So now you may be asking; what does this have to do with feminism or understanding the true power within? The answer lies in this simple scripture that seems so vague yet has much insight as to the impact of a woman. We do not know much about Lois and Eunice except that they were Jewish and that Eunice raised Timothy without the influence of his father’s Greek belief system. (Some say Eunice may have been a widow and single mother considering ham Power, with a vision based on 2 Chron. 7:14 above. A movement which started in the city of Cape Town, South Africa in 2001 when 45,000 Christians called out to God, in repentance and prayer has become a mighty move of God around the globe. In Africa all 56 nations participated in the day of prayer in 2007, despite the fact that Christians face persecution in some of those nations. Each nation prayed according to their own needs, some filled stadiums, while others participated in small groups and prayed in schools or homes.

there is only one mention of her husband.) What we do know is that their faith was so impacting that Paul described it as being unfeigned. Paul even gives mention to the fact that Lois and Eunice trained Timothy in the knowledge of the scriptures from his childhood. The dictionary explains unfeigned as being undisguised, sincere and without hypocrisy. What we women need to exemplify today in the church and in the world is “unfeigned” faith. This is the true power within a woman. Walking in the understanding of spiritual matters is how we need to live on a daily basis; having stated that, lets acknowledge where true faith comes from. In order to become a Christian it takes a step of faith toward Jesus Christ; the Son of the Living God. One has to believe that Jesus is Lord and receive His transforming power into their lives, then make a vocal declaration of that faith. With that first step God’s power begins to reside in us. According to Second Peter 1:3, “…as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”

though to some it may seem successful. What are we focused on? The Bible never mentions anything about the impact on Timothy’s life except that his mother and grandmother were distinguished by their “unfeigned faith” which then became imparted within him. As women we need to understand that no matter how much we train ourselves in earthly matters, the only way we can measure true success is by measuring it against our faith in Jesus Christ; may it be unfeigned faith within us. It is with this Godly faith that we can answer every challenge. It is with this faith we can supercede the expectations of this world. I don’t know about you, but as a woman I want to exemplify the true meaning of a Woman of God. We should all try to excel in whatever area God has called us to but let us never forget that “without faith it is impossible to please God”(Hebrews 11:6). Walking in “unfeigned faith” can only reveal the testimony of a woman operating from the true Godly power that resides within her. So now the question becomes, “Whose power are you walking in?” ■ Pastor Tracey R. Marshall

Could it be that we concentrate so much on matters that have no eternal consequence to propel us in this world (and yes even in the church) then we find ourselves never satisfied with the outcome even

Victory International Church

It is estimated that in as many as 50% of Asian countries the church is a ‘persecuted church.’ Many of these nations also face the reality of abject poverty and hardship. Yet, despite these difficult circumstances every country in Asia, with the exception of Georgia, participated in the Global Day of Prayer in 2007.

for GDOP. We saw this in Italy, where in 2006 they had one venue, but in 2007, 35 communities joined the world for prayer.

In Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation, more than 50,000 Christians in 2007 world prayer day filled stadiums across the country for times of prayer and repentance!

Hamilton, Ontario

This move of prayer is still miraculously expanding. In 2006 millions of Christians from 199 nations united in prayer and in 2007 even more Christians from 204 nations participated. More Christians are involved in the 10 Days of day and night prayer leading up to the Global Day of Prayer, as well as in the 90 Days of Blessing where prayer is expressed in acts of mercy and kindness in local communities.

It was also reported that with the exception of San Marino and Liechtenstein, every country in Europe joined the world

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History of Mothers’ Day Celebration Mother in attendance. Today, white carnations are used to honour deceased Mothers, while pink or red carnations pay tribute to Mothers who are still alive. Andrew’s Methodist Church exists to this day, and was incorporated into HYPERLINK “” \o “click here” \t “_ blank” the International Mother’s Day Shrine in 1962. In 1908 a U.S. Senator from Nebraska, Elmer Burkett, proposed making Mother’s Day a national holiday at the request of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). The proposal was defeated, but by 1909 forty-six states were holding Mother’s Day services as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. ■ From ...continued from page 1

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue And Development (21 May) diversity, cultural rights and the role of culture in development. Article 5 of the declaration re-affirmed the importance of this concept and referred to “Cultural rights as an enabling environment for cultural diversity” May 21st provides all with an opportunity to be tolerant and accepting of others who are different from us through understanding their beliefs and values systems. Cultural differences should not be the sword that cut and destroy the purposeful human existence in this cosmos. After all, variety is the spice of life. ■ w w w.thevoiceindiasp

May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7

Women Who Eat More At Conception Tend To Have Boys A new study suggests that a pregnant woman who eats more around the time her baby is conceived is more likely to give birth to a boy. The research, a joint effort between the University of Exeter and Oxford University

The study found that 56 per cent of the women in the group with the highest caloric intake at conception had boys, compared to 45 per cent in the group with the lowest energy intake. The women who had sons were also

Women Sleep More, High Income Earners Less Women sleep more than men, but don’t fall asleep or stay asleep as easily, a new report says.

thor, Matt Hurst, the survey did show women who exercise have a better quality of sleep than those who do not.

The Statistics Canada report, HYPERLINK “” \t “_top” “Who gets any sleep these days? Sleep patterns of Canadians,” finds that men sleep an average of eight hours and seven minutes a night, about 11 minutes less than women. But 35 per cent of women have trouble falling asleep, compared to 25 per cent of men.

“Women who exercise sleep 19 minutes less than those who don’t,” Hurst said.

As well, among men and women with full-time employment, men sleep 14 minutes less than women. There was no gender sleep difference among part-time workers or the unemployed. The study was based on data from the 2005 General Society Survey on time use, which queried more than 19,500 people aged 15 and over about how much time they spend on various activities in a day. in England, is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Researchers asked 740 pregnant, firsttime mothers who did not know the sex of their baby about their eating habits before and during the early stages of their pregnancies. The women were then split into groups according to how many calories they consumed around the time their babies were conceived. ...continued from page 1

In Support of Cultural Diversity different shades of colors of people that were not there many years ago. Even the influx of variety and corner stores with their blazing bright colors signify a dawn of a new business enterprise in Canada. One does not have to look far to see diversity amongst us. It is very prominent in the health care system as well as in other sectors. It is no secret that most of the nursing aides are people of cultural/ethnic population, so also are the taxi drivers; the small store owners; people worshipping in the Mosque; Pentecostal churches, and those attending ESL schools, private school, colleges and universities here. Seeing all these different people and knowing from experience what hurdles they are going through trying to achieve their purposes of coming to Canada makes me wonder. For sure this society is still holding to an outmoded and archaic exclusive


May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7

more likely to have eaten a wider variety of nutrients, such as potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12. Women who ate breakfast cereals were also more likely to have sons.

Julie Carrier, a psychology professor at the Universite de Montreal and a sleep researcher at Sacre-Coeur Hospital, said that few studies have been done to analyze the factors that affect a woman’s sleep patterns.

“That’s my staple in the morning, warm cereal, oatmeal pretty well religiously every day,” said Andrea Page, fitness instructor of Fit Moms in Toronto and a mother of three boys.

Hormonal changes, depression and anxiety, as well as whether or not women simply need more sleep than men, are just some theories that researchers need to explore, Carrier said.

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However, according to the report’s au-

society that sees people from ethnic and cultural background as different. There is still problem in accepting people that are not ‘white’ per se. The darker the tone of your skin, the more problem you will have in being accepted here. The Asians face far less discrimination than the blacks; at least they have lighter skin tones. This is sad, and this discrimination and marginalization because of one’s ethnic origin plays out as I write this article.

gatherings, sport events or even a chance meeting with someone, I am always being questioned on: which country are you from in the Island? How long have you lived in Canada? Where did you have your training as a nurse? When was the last time you travelled down to your country? And so on. Interrogations like these make me feel on edge, thinking what else I have to say. However, no matter how I feel belittled being questioned about my private life; I most times answer their questions without a hint of anger seething through my being. To me, most of these questions are uncalled-for. They are asked with prejudice and not with any special interest to know or understand me better as a human being. I feel I can never belong.

Being Different – Sweet Agony? What I have experienced living here for close to nine years is the reluctance of some Canadians to fully accept immigrants as true Canadians. For most, hearing my accent and seeing the dark shade of my skin always raise the question “Are you from the Islands? Their questions show that every one that looks like me and sound like me is not a Canadian. Simply put, their questions reveal deep-seated lack of understanding, ignorance, and awareness of the ever-changing cultural diversity around them. Be it at work, social

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For instance, when I was pursuing my nursing training, I had to be constantly proving my capability to my fellow students, teachers and clients, especially those of the older generation. It was a nightmare being a black student with an accent. When others different from me are being perturbed with their academic hurdles, I was being challenged with that as well as being accepted the way I am. I hardly came across a client that was not interested to know my background and most importantly, how I got into nursing and whether I am doing well at school. Though these questions might appear innocent but the manner to which they were spoken to me raises more to be desired. Having done my best in my training and graduated with flying colours, the next big hurdle is being out there on my own and practising my career as a registered nurse. I have come across clients that called me the ‘N’ word; and totally refused me coming near to them. Others questioned what I am doing staying in the same room with them. Then others questioned where I had my nursing training, Canada or your home

“Now that’s a little counterintuitive because exercise helps you relax, it’s a reliever of stress. But, there’s a lower incidence of women who exercise saying they have problems falling asleep or staying asleep. So the quality of their sleep is better.” Overall, the report’s findings show that, in addition to gender, factors such as income and the commute to work, as well as job and marital status, all have an impact on how much sleep Canadians get. Some findings include: A person who makes $60,000 a year or more sleeps 40 minutes less than someone who makes $20,000. People who work full time get 24 minutes less sleep than those with no regular employment. Respondents who work more than nine hours a day sleep for 41 fewer minutes than those who work for less than four hours. Those with a daily commute of one to 30 minutes get an extra 22 minutes of sleep compared to those who commute for an hour or more per day. ❖ to be continued

country? It is like I had and still have to pray seriously before going to any assignment for God’s strength, people’s tolerance and acceptance, and even my colleagues’ acceptance. One could imagine the amount of stress, fear, and emotion that go through my body every day since I arrived here, simply because of being different. The experiences recounted above are being relived by countless numbers of immigrants from diverse cultural and ethical backgrounds here in Canada. Most new immigrants are not only worried about their low socio-economic status, culture shock, and family dynamics, they are more than ever faced with attitudes and cultures that promote marginalization and institutionalized discrimination because of being different. The world is celebrating cultural diversity and dialogue this month. There is a greater need more than ever for our society to promptly address these issues of cultural insensitivity. People migrated from all over the globe and chose Canada as a permanent place of abode; still they are being seen as strangers. Canada with some 185 countries were signatories to the recognition and acceptance of cultural diversity, still, it seems not very much effort and resources are being devoted to making this dream come true. Lastly, enough of the lip service to Canada being a signatory of the UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity and Dialogue. What is imperative now is implementation of the “Action Plan” to truly assert that Canada is a cultural mosaic. Closer to home, fully integrating immigrants from cultural/ethnic populations or groups into Hamilton society should be a priority of the decision makers, including heads of industries. Remember “A cultural right is an integral part of human rights” (UNESCO, 2001). Then, and only then will I feel ‘less’ different.

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Diversity Beyond Ethnicity Histories of colonization run deep into the consciousness of the domineering characters just as those born out of colonized histories has subservience carved up in their psyches. With the top three ethnic groups who represent one third of Canada’s population, they must be privileged enough to claim leadership at the public office, ownership of major enterprises and stewardship of large civic and religious organizations. Yet with its masterful control of wealth and power daintily fielded by sweet talking machinations, nation building still rests on the hands of the few. Globalization blurs the distinction between promoting progress for some and divesting wealth from others. Someone or some multinational corporation or some country is getting rich at the expense of those who must be displaced from their own country. Displaced souls find their destiny in Canada where they join other immigrants, each having a sto-

ry to tell about how they managed to escape the bulldozers of progressive destruction. Sadly, just when they thought they have found settlement in a new country that is a thousand times larger than their homeland, they have to contend with gentrification, a process of accommodating those who can afford condominiums at what used to be deteriorating areas occupied by the poor. Multitudes of immigrants eke out a living unaffected by the politics of economics because they have been desensitized to undergo change, not to become agents for change. A little peace and quiet, a little property, a little education, a little paycheque, that’s all it takes for an immigrant to make it in the spectator sport of democracy. A few distinguished faces might be granted a few token positions but nothing more than just a public relations stunt for diversity and equal opportunity. Ethnicity is profiled as an alien barred from participating at the core of democracy. Its role is diminished to that of a transient who often becomes a scapegoat for whatever seems wrong in this country. Systems

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International Students’ Work Permits Changes dents to work for one or two years, depending on location. “The Government of Canada wants more foreign students to choose Canada and we want to help them succeed,” said Minister Finley. “Open and longer work permits provide international students with more opportunities for Canadian work experience and skills development. This will, in turn, help make Canada a destination of choice, and help us keep international

are flawed because of this very exclusion of the immigrant’s voice from policy making to nation building. Like colonies of the 19th century, the great divide remains and communities within the same country remain distant and alienated from one another. Only now, these hardworking slaves travel in their own cars chained to their credit cards. The over reliance on the expertise of policymakers who cannot tell the difference between dumpsites and housing settlement for newcomers or between job opportunities and conscription is a kind of tolerance that immigrants are enduring, not the other way around. As they work and persevere to build lives, they face insults, racism and discrimination along the way. They have been displaced more than once yet they do not succumb to demoralizing and dehumanizing circumstances. They are immigrants. They are forgiving to the inefficiency of the system.

students already studying in Canada.” The increased flexibility offered by the expanded program will benefit graduates and employers alike as the program will help international students get important work experience while responding to Canada’s labour market needs. Canada will benefit in the long run as the professional experience gained will help graduates meet the requirements to stay permanently in Canada. “As we move toward the implementation of the Canadian Experience Class, these changes will help create a pool of individuals who, with work experience,

❖ to be continued

will find it easier to apply to immigrate to Canada,” added Minister Finley. “Our ability to retain international graduates with Canadian qualifications, work experience and familiarity with Canadian society, will help increase our competitiveness and benefit Canada as a whole.” The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows students who have graduated from an eligible program at a postsecondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Preliminary 2007 data indicate that 63,673 international students came to Canada that year, representing a 4.6 percent increase over w w w.thevoiceindiasp

the previous year. For further information (media only), please contact: Tim Vail - Press Secretary Minister’s Office Citizenship and Immigration Canada 613-954-1064 Karen Shadd-Evelyn Media Relations - Communications Branch Citizenship and Immigration Canada 613-952-1650

May 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 7


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Women Who Eat More At Conception Tend To Have Boys Because gender is genetically detemined by fathers, the findings are interesting because they show that women can perhaps influence the development of one sex over another. Fewer boys are being born in industrialized countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada. At the same time, the average caloric intake in these countries has declined, and more people are skipping breakfast. In the U.S., for example, 75 per cent of adults reported eating breakfast in 1991, compared to 86 per cent in 1965. “We know from other studies that if you skip breakfast, you end up with low blood sugar levels and I suggest it may be the low blood sugar that is then unfavourable to the survival of male embryos,” said lead

study author Fiona Mathews of the University of Exeter. However, women are not advised to skip breakfast if they are hoping to have a girl. People who eat a healthy diet maintain a better body weight and have a better overall nutritional status, said dietician Jennifer Sygo. “If you have someone wanting a girl and you skip breakfast and breakfast cereals, you could have nutritional consequences in the long run,” said Sygo. Scientists that study animal behavior have already noticed that in some species, females produce more sons when resources, such as food, are plentiful. This has mostly been seen in invertebrates, but also in horses, cows and some deer species. There, this study’s findings could indicate that when it isn’t given enough food, a woman’s body interprets that as a sign of low food availability. ■


M ay 2 0 0 8 • Vo l u m e 1 • I s s u e 7 • w w w. t h e vo i ce i n d i a s • 905.920.1752 They left countries very far away, dete...

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