BEHIND THE SCENES W/ MACS CRIME BUSTERS.
THE MAC’S STREET ART MURAL. “The Mac’s StreetART Mural initiative works to create strategic partnerships in an effort to help prevent crime and strengthen community relationships; while working diligently towards a community-based shared responsibility. Engaging the community, especially the youth will only empower them to develop a stronger ability to make a positive difference. This forward thinking concept has seen positive results, not only in the reduction of crime at the locations where the murals have been painted – but also in the beautification the mural has within the community.”
Sean Sportun, ICPS | Manager, Security & Loss Prevention Mac's Convenience Stores l Central Canada
STEALING GAS IS A CRIME.
“anonymous tips can prevent crimes before they occur.”
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WHAT IS CRIME STOPPERS ST. KITTS & NEVIS? Crime Stoppers St. Kitts & Nevis is a non-profit, tri-partied program between the community, media and law enforcement, whose goal is to provide a way for the public to CONFIDENTIALLY and ANONYMOUSLY share information on criminal activity and assist with the recovery of drugs, guns, and stolen property.
WHY USE CRIME STOPPERS ST. KITTS & NEVIS? Many crimes are left unsolved in the Federation due to the fear of repercussions from providing information to law enforcement. Crime Stoppers SKN is a CONFIDENTIAL and ANONYMOUS outlet where you can report crime without fear of identification. You can make a difference!
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NOVEMBER 2013 | ISSUE #03
TOUCH TWITTNI©K MAGAZINE
DJ 2Touch found the passion of playing and mixing music at the young age of 14 on a family trip to Jamaica. The hotel the family was staying at hosted a beach party and everyone was partying, but 2Touch was inspired by the skills of the DJs, and he said to himself, “I want to do that when I get back to Toronto.” Soon after getting his first set of turntables, he would dedicate numerous hours a day practicing basic mixing and scratching skills. His practicing eventually paid oﬀ and his career launched at the age of 15 where he was playing in Toronto’s most credible venues.
Even though DJ 2Touch is only 21 years old (as of February 2011), he has achieved many accomplishments within the music industry. Since 2007, he was the regular DJ and co-owner of a very successful online radio show, Detention Radio. For the summer of 2009, he played on CIUT 89.5FM with DJ Bass and Chief. Some of the most memorable moments of DJ 2Touch’s career was playing a few times on one of Toronto’s most popular radio programs, Dr. Jay’s world recognized “Soca Therapy”, on Flow 93.5FM and currently on G98.7fm. Currently you can catch Dj 2touch live on www.bacchanalradio.com each and every Monday from 9-11pm. While 2Touch specializes in soca and reggae music, he is very versatile and enjoys playing hip hop, R & B, old school, chutney, Indian, house and top 40.
With confidence and ease, 2Touch has played for crowds as large as 8,000 people. 2Touch has also participated in Toronto’s and North America’s largest annual Caribbean festival, Caribana. Since 2007, 2Touch has played on the Caribana parade route for various masquerade bands, before becoming one of Jamaal Magloire’s “Toronto Revellers” premiere DJs. He has also opened up for a variety of artists from around the world such as Mr. Vegas, Gyptian, Cutty Ranks, Sanchez, Machel Montano, Problem Child, Skinny Fabulous, Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons, Iwer George, Destra, Benjai, Patrice Roberts, Lil Rick, Drake…and the list goes on! Another great accomplishment is that Dj 2Touch was nominated for the best Soca Dj for 2012.
Although 2Touch was well on his way to becoming an established DJ in the club industry, February 19th, 2011 dramatically changed his career. DJ 2Touch achieved one of his long term goals, which was to become a member of the elite soundcrew, Dr. Jay’s Kingdom Of Soca (KOS). The name “DJ 2Touch” instantly changed from being known as just an up and coming DJ into being recognized as a DJ that is well-established and reputable. KOS is responsible for Toronto’s best Soca fetes such as D.C.A.L, Return Fete, Whiteout and J’ouvert. Being a member of the KOS soundcrew will shape 2Touch’s future in a positive direction.
TWITTNIÂŠK MAGAZINE My name is Nicholas Maharaj. I am the TwittNick.
I generally provide information to the general public about Crime Stoppers Programs using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter internationally. I believe that together we can promote the awareness of the program, educate and stand up to street crime.
Written by: Nisha Kan
They say crying is a sign of bravery, then please explain to me why I feel so vulnerable shedding tears, watching my mother cry, helplessly. Unable to help her fight these false accusations, permanently tattooed on her skin by the one man she trusted whole heartedly. Blind sided, she ignored the demons who possessed his mind, disrupting it with negative thoughts, conceived with outrageous assumptions controlled by a corrupted heart. She did not realize, and he did not sympathize. His love transformed into hatred over time, magnified, multiplied, and intensified. Pain took control eventually, and her heart started bleeding caused by needles piercing through wonderful memories of a once happy family which repeated across the deep end of her moist eye. The vision faded. A mixture of blurry pictures with no colour, portrayed happy faces for awhile, but his insane imaginations invaded her sanity and smudged the edges right off her smile. She blankly stared as I watched him manipulate those images that he photoshopped for the public eye. A broken marriage hidden, cropped out, then replaced with a couple so in love, I couldn’t even recognize.
If only they knew he questioned her loyalty, abused her verbally, using disgusting terms throughout their relationship. I was a witness. “You little whore. You ungrateful slut. You cheating bitch!” She’s fighting, screaming, crying, pleading, “STOP!” but he continued, persisting to end 22 years of marriage, followed by harsher words, forcefully inked onto her skin for a sin she did not commit. They say crying is a sign of bravery, then please explain to me why I feel so vulnerable shedding tears, watching my mother cry, helplessly. For weeks, I watched her curled up in a ball on the cold pavement in the corner of our basement, restlessly. She was shivering; not because the floor was freezing, but because her body could not escape the reality of her nightmare, disguised as a marital status, she continuously circled in questionnaires. And as her marriage crumbled, she struggled to cope with the possibility of a divorce. She faked a smile infront of others, then had emotional break downs behind closed doors. It hurt, but I believed my mother was tough. I believed, her hands would someday grow their own permanent boxing gloves. Invisible and rough, but strong. Then why was I proven wrong? Apparently, in time, everything will be fine because GOD assigned this life to you, that he will only give you what you can handle Shoving GOD down my throat, referring to your experience as an example. But you don’t know me. You don’t know my story, so don’t you dare tell me I’m supposed to handle the pain I find in my mother’s eyes as she cries herself to sleep.
! They say crying is a sign of bravery, then someone please explain to me why I feel so vulnerable shedding tears, watching my mother cry, helplessly. Entering the room, locking eyes with her the moment I caught her writing a suicide note, hopelessly. Never have I ever felt SO weak before staring at the redness of her swollen eyes burning with intense pain as I came to the realization that she did not want to live anymore. To her, life itself did not contain anything valuable for her to remain, alive. But, what about me? What about the rest of your family? You taught me to be my own person; to NEVER compromise my happiness for any man to make him stay; to always have the courage to lead my life, MY way. And as I glanced deeply into her dark brown eyes weakly, tears fled down my cheeks quickly, as I dropped to my knees and withdrew 3 little words from my lips, “How COULD you?”
NOVEMBER 11, 2013 - REMEMBRANCE DAY
LEST WE FORGET You will never be forgotten.
There isn’t much he remembers.
Known more now for his raw, gritty vocals and uncompromising lyrics.
Read more on Page 34
Kristopher De Sousa Behind leaders of the future creating safer communities. By @TwittNick
My name is Kristopher Sousa. Iâ€™m 18 years old and currently studying at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus.
It was in grade 10, that I implemented the first ever, 14 Division Youth Community Police Liaison Committee. The YCPLC was a committee where youth in our community can get together and discuss issues of concern arising in their communities, and initiatives they are involved in through school, religious centres or community. Not only did this committee provide a platform for youth to voice their opinions, it also provided them with the tools and skills they needed so that they too, could help create safer schools, community organizations, and communities. While holding Cochairmanship, along with a Toronto Police Officer, I was able to communicate my message to many other people, especially youth, about the importance of creating safer communities, as well as helping youth understand that there were resources and people out there willing to lend a hand to assist in anyway.
I knew though, that I was not done there. I continued to work in partnership with the Toronto Police, eventually having many opportunities to speak to local youth, politicians, ministers and dignitaries about the importance of having youth
take action. I volunteered with various organizations such as the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, as well as the YMCA. There, I mentored youth so that they too could become active members in their community.
Similar to my good friend Nicholas, I too was the recipient of the Crimestoppers Student of the Year Award as well as other awards focused on community building and safety. These awards represented the work that OUR youth are doing, not just the work that I was doing.
Now, after finishing high school, I still continue to spend my time volunteering in the community, and providing help to youth who may need guidance and support. I hope that one day, I too will be able to serve the people of Toronto, as well as eventually get into politics. By doing this, I can continue to be the â€œgo-toâ€? person for youth seeking advice and support.
My name is Kristopher, and my hope is that more youth will get involved in making our communities safer and stronger because after all, the youth are the leaders of tomorrow.
At the tender age of 10, D3 (Demetri Ramlogan) took interest in playing music after being taught the basics of a mixer by his cousin. Seeing what was possible by DJs that played music from turntables and a computer, he took interest in the digital aspect of music and taught himself how to use Virtual DJ. Through the 9 years of practicing, D3 mastered Virtual DJ and has shocked multiple DJs as he is capable of using his bare laptop just like Serato would operate but without the two turntables, being able to scratch, hot-cue and more. In 2007, Karma had released the album Destiny 3 which had ultimately changed D3’s musical palate to the Chutney-Soca universe. Adapting to the Indo-Trinidadian musical culture, he intends to change the Having a background of rub-a-dub Reggae in his household, his family and friends were curious as to why he turned to Chutney music. From listening to Reggae to a whole other genre, D3 had transcended into his cultures music. Versatility is a key characteristic to hold as a DJ and D3 wants to express that value through his sets. Supporting the Chutney & Ragga Soca universes, D3 has been recognized by Bunji Garlin, K Rich, Ravi B, KI & more for his love and proficient understanding of the
aims that each artists have tried to achieve. D3 has performed with Chutney artists in Trinidad & Canada as a singer. He holds a singing aspect as his 2010 Chutney song “Yuh Haunting Meh” hit #2 on Toronto-Lime Music Charts. One huge change to D3’s career that has made a serious impact & opened many opportunities for him was being signed to the Mixxx4U Label at the age of 19 (As of Feb 2013). M4U Sound crew had been composed in summer of 2013 with D3 included as well as 3 other top M4U DJ’s. D3 has done well on online radio waves as he was a regular guest DJ under Modern Ent Radio for a few years & hosted his own “Wine Back Wednesdays” show on M4URadio, which was heard by & forwarded by the inspiration, K-Rich himself. Through his adventure, D3 has had inspirations that have helped him build his career such as Dr Jay, J Rev, DJ Jay (Florida), DJ 2Touch, DJ AKX, DJ Dice, GTR & many more to name. Look out for this young DJ as he will be tearing through sound patterns in Toronto, Trinidad & the world!
Demetri Ramlogan // november 2013
GAVIN DAVIS AKA GEM. exclusive interview.
Gavin Trent Davis or better known by his stage name Gem, is a 19 year old up and coming Hip Hop artist from Toronto Canada.
`Originally from Ajax, Gem moved from city to city as a child. In order to cope with this instability, he turned to music.
just the beginning for Gem in gaining exposure. After now gathering such a large fan base with 11K followers on twitter & getting thousands of views on his videos. Gem has released his second & most successful mixtape "BEHIND CLOSED EYES".
With his unique individual style Gem is now an upcoming artist for At the young age of 13, he Toronto that everyone needs to keep discovered his passion for the arts. an eye out for. We will see struggle, we Gem was writing music and creating will see fails & we will see success. visual pieces for all to see and hear. He With all this we will NEVER see Gem was not only a musician, but a visual give up. Keep a look out for great artist as well. Gem, which is short for visual artwork & music on the way. Giving Everyone Motivation, hoped that #TeamGem is on its way up. his music as well as his art would inspire others to follow their hearts "Everyone who is or may not be and strive for what they believe in. a fan but still is following me on my journey, I would like to thank you. I By 16 he decided to make music really do appreciate it, it means a lot & his career and began writing his own i hope you guys will continue to follow songs. His urban poetic style is me and see where music takes me influenced by artists such as within the next couple of years." - Gem Tupac,Wale,J Cole and Lupe Fiasco. Gavin's ultimate goal is to become a "Just know yeah I may fail or contender in the music industry and release a song you may not like. create music that will motivate people Understand that I do not give up. There worldwide. will always be at least one song or style I will release that you WILL like. I don't Gem has now released two like to disappoint anyone." -Gem mixtapes that have gone viral on websites such as "HotNewHipHop" & "DatPiff". His first debut "HOPE" was
! SPECIAL EDITION
TWITTER : @ItsJustGem IG:: @ItsJustGem
PASSION Imagine spending a couple of days lost in your own thoughts, surrounded by nothing except sand. Sun burning down on you as your entire body is drained out of energy. Loneliness steadily taking over you as you gradually stride in a narrow neverending desert. Thirsty, hungry, lonely as you anxiously grasp onto the little bit of hope you have; searching everywhere for a miracle, for someone to come by and help you, feed you, save you. Imagine your eyes suddenly catching a distant glimpse of someone walking towards you. Your heart begins to quicken, your breathing starts to increase, your hope becomes restored, your eyes widen, and suddenly you feel like you have the energy to run and catch up to the only person you see in the middle of the desert. Imagine yourself finally approaching the person, out of breath as they immediately realize you need help and they come to your rescue. They help you reach your destination, provide you with shelter, food and water. Now imagine water slowly touching your lips, and sliding down your throat. The water you desperately craved for over those past two days. How would it feel? Wouldn’t it feel heavenly? Everything suddenly feels right again, you feel so grateful to have met that person, and the world feels so much better. Isn’t this how you feel when you meet someone you desire? Passion; it’s a force so magical, you still remember it, long after it’s faded away. You try so hard to forget because it would make the process of “moving on” much easier. However, you just can’t completely move on sometimes. Most people won’t understand why you repeatedly think about an old flame that seemed to have disappeared, but to you, it will always be a treasured memory, a spark that still exists. It’s a feeling you want to possess once again, a part of you that felt something strange, something good, that you still hold on to simply because you’re not ready to let go yet. Passion; it’s a drive so alluring; it pushes you into the arms of an unexpected lover. You find yourself drawn to someone you never expected you’d want so badly one day. You keep wondering why you feel this way about this specific person, why you are mysteriously drawn to them and not anyone else. What makes this person more special? You have so many questions and not enough answers and you don’t try to find those answers simply because passion takes control over you. Passion; you crave it, you need it, and you are willing to suffer the risk of a broken heart for it. You get butterflies in your stomach, everything just feels better, tastes better, and you smile for no apparent reason, and time goes by much slower. It’s an unbelievable feeling which sometimes makes us do crazy things.
Passion; it’s a sensation so irresistible, it knocks down the walls you’ve built to protect your heart. You try so hard to protect your heart from any more damage than it has suffered already. You seal every inch of your heart shut. You build enormous walls using the bricks each failed relationship threw your way. Then one day you meet someone and that stranger you met a while back suddenly becomes close to you in a way you never thought possible. You promised yourself to never open up your heart to anyone else until the time is right but nevertheless, that overwhelming desire for passion will definitely be strong enough to force those walls down and leave your heart exposed. When you do open up to someone, you trust him or her not to hurt you. Some people tend to hurt you reluctantly, accidentally or on purpose and each time you get hurt, the walls built around your heart become more taller than the ones before. However, someone else will come along in your life and your desire for passion will overpower the pain and the anger and it makes you fragile and vulnerable towards the person you feel so intensely about. Eventually, no matter how hard you try to keep that heart of yours locked as an attempt to protect yourself, you will open up to someone and the right person will make that risk totally worth it. Passion; it’s a feeling so powerful; it resurfaces even though you tried so hard to keep it buried. Sometimes you try to heal your broken heart by coping with it the best way you know how, and most of the time it’s not enough. When you finally feel like you moved on for good, that one person you struggled so hard to avoid re-enters your life. When they do, those feelings you thought were gone, start to reappear, placing you back to square one; trying to recover your broken heart… again. It’s just that simple for someone or something to randomly remind you of those feelings you didn’t want to admit you still had. You keep telling yourself you are better off letting go and moving on and pretending like nothing happened but the process to remove those feelings are a lot harder than you’d expect. It takes an enormous amount of effort and hard work to try and erase a part of you that cared. A part of you that felt something different, something good and you knew you would have kept fighting for it if it were up to you. A part of you that was forced to give up on something you wanted so badly for the sake of someone else’s happiness. A part of you who felt like everything was perfect. It’s hard to pretend like that part of you didn’t even exist, it’s much harder when you somehow manage to pretend that part of you didn’t exist and then have that one person, or that one moment reappear in your life forcing you to remember the feelings you had for each other, wondering if you made the right decision by attempting to let go or if you should have fought harder. Passion; it makes us do crazy things. We find ourselves in situations that were unexpected, we find ourselves falling in love with someone unexpected. We try to move on but fail to do so and we end up obsessing about what could have, should have happened. Passion is like food for our souls, it’s what we search for in life to give our life meaning.
WRITTEN BY: NISHA KAN
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” - Muhammad Ali
Vishall Dharamdass is a well rounded athlete, professional musician, full time student, and a charismatic leader born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. He has participated in several sports such as wrestling, football, soccer, volleyball, and even qualified at the 2012-13 OFSAA championships for track and field wherein he placed 5th overall for the Senior boys 400m hurdles, twice.
A proud Trinidadian Hindu, Vishall is a professional musician most well known amongst
the West Indian community as an illustrious tabla player. He started playing tabla at the age of 9 and tours all over Trinidad, Canada, and the US playing at weddings, concerts, and various religious functions.
Disciplined by nature, Vishall also was recruited into the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program (892 Snowy Owl Squadron). He resigned after 5 years of service, with the rank of Warrant Officer 2nd Class taking valuable knowledge and experience with him. Apart from being a disciplined athlete and
musician, Vishall is a full time university student at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
He is currently enrolled in the Psychology program pursuing a Double Honours degree in Psychology and Philosophy. He aspires to be a Clinical Psychologist under the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto Ontario.
HELPFUL TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN HEADED INTO THE ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT
The weekend is the time to get together with friends and families, to get out and have a great time. With no obligations to school or no work, the weekend means time to invest in our social calendars. But though this may mean having fun and perhaps even heading out to the Entertainment District, be mindful of how you can have a safe night out:
When heading into the Entertainment District on the weekends, buddy up with friends to ensure nobody gets isolated and then into awkward situations. Be alert to the tone and atmosphere of your surroundings.
While a few drinks and a lot of adrenaline can make one’s surroundings a bit intense and exciting, be alert to possible situations that can get out of control. Remember, you want to protect your friends as well as yourself at the same time. Avoid unnecessary confrontations and conflicts. Keep the mood light and friendly.
When buying drinks, you want to make sure that you always have it in your hand. Placing them on a counter can be unsafe because once you leave it, you are leaving yourself in a vulnerable position. Keep your drinks close and if in doubt about its contents, abandon it.
When it comes to the end of a Friday, Saturday, Sunday night downtown, appoint a designated driver who is going to stick to his/her role for the evening. Drinking and driving isn’t just poor judgment; impaired driving compromises everyone’s life on the road.
If you don't have any assurances of a safe and sober ride home, try taking an alternative: Taxi or Public Transit. (Always take note of the company or markings of the cab that you take in case someone needs to contact the cab/transit company for lost items.)
Words go around and I know sometimes it can be hard to report violence. Nobody wants to get involved in anybody's situations. We all hand it off to them. One might think, "Let them deal with their own problems." Remember that at the end of the day, we should all learn to keep the peace, love and unity.
The world can be safe if we all take part in a non profit organization "Crime Stoppers." Where people make the mistake is confusing Crime Stoppers as the 'Police', when it's clearly not. Crime Stoppers is community-driven. Any TIP that you submit is 100% anonymous and the court grants the anonymity of your information. I encourage you to watch my CP24 interview about Crime Stoppers and its anonymity.
Nicholas Maharaj @TwittNick
THE TWITTNICK MAGAZINE
There isn’t much he remembers. Born to immigrant parents on July 29, 1985, Kaly almost didn’t make it into this world. Surviving his mother’s umbilical cord choking him, he was welcomed into a modest one-bedroom apartment furnished only with a toaster, a black and white television, and a mattress on the floor. Though much of the rest of this time is forgotten, it is these humble surroundings that have shaped the artist who has come to be known as Kaly. Given his name by a former flame for his naturally smooth tone of voice, Kaly is known more now for his raw, gritty vocals and uncompromising lyrics. Soft-spoken and respectful in person, even he will admit he has no idea why a change comes about every time he steps into the booth, stating, “I literally have no idea when that first started happening or why it still happens, people are always surprised when they hear me in person and then on a track. Trust me, I’m the most amazed out of anyone.” It is this combination of grittiness and intelligence that has brought Kaly to the forefront of all of his peers, but also that which has proved to be the basis of his difficulties in the industry. Unorthodox in his delivery and unwavering in his belief that music is more than what you hear in a club, he has found himself at odds with numerous industry acts and even members of his own team at times. Nonetheless, through sheer determination, Kaly has made inroads for himself, charting numerous tracks on the BBC Asian Network; gaining praise from industry notables such as Rishi Rich, DJ Bikram Keith, and Mentor Kolektiv; having one of his tracks featured on the Playstation 3 videogame “Haze”; and most recently, performing for 10,000+ in the heart of times square for Diwali at Times Square 2013. After several false starts and numerous broken promises that led to an abrupt departure from writing, Kaly has took matters into his own hands and has self-released three projects to date: The Flight, Rebel With A Cause, and She Loves Me. Completely self-financed, these projects stand as a testament to Kaly’s struggle to overcome negativity and his dedication to being a voice for all those who dare to go after their dreams. No longer waiting on others for their approval of his dream, Kaly has reinvented himself and vowed to make everyone who ever doubted him choke on their words.
There isn’t much he forgets.
A MOMENT WITH AARTI GUPTA FROM NEW JERSEY.
rowing up in a dominant caucasian town, Aarti never appreciated her Indian
heritage. For a New Jersey-born native that comes from a family of immigrants, it became diﬃcult to balance and appreciate her American up-bringing with her Indian roots. Slowly, but surely, she started to see the beauty of her Indian blood, and Aarti began to admire her Hindu heritage. She spent time watching and critiquing countless Bollywood movies, and soon decided to pursue her passion for Indian Bollywood and classical dancing at Arya Dance Academy. She has completed 8 years of dance under Arya Dance Academy under various professional instructors, and advanced to become an assistant dance teacher at Arya. She has been in the Arya Dance Academy competition dance team for four years. She was lucky enough to perform in front of a Victoria Secret supermodel, Heidi Klum, in Washington D.C. In addition to this performance, she has danced for countless other Bollywood actors/actresses such as Vidya Balan, Rishi Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Zeenat Aman, Malika Sherawat, Shankar Mahadev, etc. Her biggest success in dance was dancing in Times Square, NYC with the Maharahstrian government present. She also made history by being a part of the first ever Indian group to perform at the Macy's Day Parade with Arya. She is fortunate enough to be taught by some of the best Indian choreographers. Aarti was content with dancing, but continued to be inspired - this time by Indian fashion.
Fascinated by beautiful and intricate Indian designs, she wanted to dig deeper into her Indian roots, and that is when she began her modelling career in Indian fashion. Aarti is one of the youngest Indian models at fashion shows with her first show at age of only 15. She was privileged enough to model for designers such as R&B Design Line, Charms Couture, Lajwanti, Samreen's Closet, etc at R&B Design Launch, Dulhan Expo, South Asian Indian Fair, India Day Fair, etc. The multi-talented teenager also competed in Miss India USA representing her very own state of NJ and placing as a finalist. Aarti took a part of the prestigious India Independence Parade in New York City with the title of Miss NJ, PA & DE 2010 alongside Miss India USA. and Miss India Worldwide's second runner-up. Even though she takes pride in her Indian heritage, Aarti aspires to achieve her life goal and become a doctor, specifically in the study of neurology and research. As she stated "Of course when you're younger, everyone says they to be rich, famous, or a model, actress, but I've always wanted to become a doctor from the start at age 7. After seeing the core problems of the world, the suﬀering, hunger, and unjust violence in the world, the money and the fame means nothing. It's all about taking care of those who are suﬀering in our world, and treating one another like brothers and sisters. I realized I had to pursue a profession that benefited the people of our world in some way or another. Considering there are so many health issues in our world, being a doctor and taking care of ill patients who may not be able to aﬀord health care, would be my behalf of helping our world, and giving back to the community. The health of the people comes first."
Aarti is also a advocate to end human traﬃcking and a vegan animal lover who supports Peta, a global organization that takes a stand against any compromise of animal rights. Aarti currently assists at a paediatric clinic. She hopes to find a cure for Schizophrenia and Cerebral Amyloid Antipathy one day, and the notorious cancer disease. The young lady vows to continue to follow her Indian roots while she fulfils her doctor dream, and never forget where she comes from. Her ultimate reason for her motivation and success is all thanks to her supportive, loving Indian family, and most importantly God. Aarti explained how her father came to this country with only $500 in his pocket, living in NYC working two bus boy jobs. If it wasn't for his ambition and hunger to become successful, he wouldn't have made it big in America. Whenever. Aarti struggles, her father's inspirational story gives her hope. "Family is everything, without them, you have nothing. When you're on your death bed, you will not be hugging your framed degree, but your loved ones. The struggle and sacrifice my parents went through just to raise me as immigrants, made me appreciate that and modelled me into the strong independent woman I am today." Most of Aarti's family lives back in India, as she will be the first doctor in her family. She hopes to further her Indian fashion and dancing career, as well as her academic doctor career. Aarti promises to stay strong and to never be upset since there are others who have it way worse than her.
! ! ! !
"Even if each person in this world can contribute a small act that benefits the community, that small act turns into a large positive impact." - Aarti Gupta
KIMBERLY BOODRAM NOVEMBER 2013
Current Settlement Funding Issues and Impacts on Agencies, Immigrants and Written by: Ravi Rampersaud
In 2005, Canada’s nonprofit and voluntary sector, on an international scale, ranked second in the world, in terms of an economically active labor force (Barr, Easwaramoorthy, Hall, Salamon, Sokolowski, 2005). Domestically, the sector and/or “nonprofit organizations accounted for $100.7 billion dollars of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2007 or 7% of Canada’s economy” (Hall, 2010, p. 89) and
“from 1997 to 2007, its contribution to GDP more than doubled with its average
annual growth (7.1%) outpacing that of the overall economy (5.8%)” (Hall, 2010, p. 89). Undoubtedly, with such an explicitly self-sustaining and economically vibrant industry, the federal and provincial governments would have a coordinated understanding, legislative agreement and distinguished obligation to reciprocate by expanding the sector through fiscally consistent support for non-profit organizations, specifically settlement agencies/organizations. However, the non-profit sector has and still continues to experience an incessantly complicated and politically unstable relationship with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI). In terms of financial reciprocation, the Canadian government appears to disproportionately allocate funding towards social services, i.e. settlement organizations, only in periods where the nation undergoes a national economic growth. As a result of the recent historical economical imbalance and stagnation, there have been exceedingly unfavorable impacts to settlement agencies and subsequently the immigrant and refugee communities they administratively support, systemically advocate for and socio-economically empower (Barr, Easwaramoorthy, Hall, Salamon, Sokolowski, 2005). The recent discrepancy and ensuing disinvestment in settlement agencies/organizations has revealed numerous and enduring effects still resonating amongst Ontario’s immigrant and refugee populations. The uncoordinated regulatory disregard and further lack of societal welfare has exponentially contributed to a harmful over-representation of certain immigrant populations within the unemployment, education and health care system. The loss of essential agencies has continued, at an increased rate, to marginalize, subordinate, and disenfranchise those dependent upon these crucial newcomer settlement services/programs (OCASI, 2011).
“Not only are immigrants an important source of talent, but the continued reliance on immigration to grow Ontario’s labour force means that communities and service users are increasingly diverse, and the organizations that serve them need to reflect this change” (McIsaac, Park & Toupin, 2013, p. 5), however the recent anti-immigrant narrative adopted by Canadian government portrays a distinct preference towards temporary economic immigrants, who have limited access to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) programs/services. Currently, immigrants and refugees affected by the cessation or cancellation programs and/or services, as a result adverse government funding measures, have also completely lost or been limited to accessing civic participation and political citizenship. Furthermore, “â€¦by a narrowing of government funding guidelines that do not recognize engagement, leadership and community development practices as an essential part of successful settlement process” (Clutterbuck & Howarth, 2009, p. 28), the interconnected and mutually dependent relationships between the immigrant/refugee communities, settlement agencies and the federal/ provincial governments has been reasonably weakened. Government funding is now dependent upon and distributed to agencies that consistently meet and exceed an intake of clients/members. Because of this, settlement workers are delegated less time with individual clients, which limit the client’s capacity to receive an effective, meaningful and advanced level of service delivery (M. Nguygen, personal communication, October 24, 2013). Although the entire Social Service Sector has been affected by the financial austerity measures, settlement agencies/organizations and subsequently its’ employees, volunteers and board members have been significantly impacted by the federal and provincial governments decision “â€¦to defund a number of agencies and significantly reduce the funding to many more, and the manner in which this is being carried out, fails to recognize their multi-year existence, the investment of time and energy, and their importance as bases of community development and bridges to integration for future citizens” (OCASI, 2011, p. 2). As most settlement agencies have experienced a structural shift from core, sustainable and consistent funding to project, time-limited and restrictive funding, there is a widespread theme of agencies’ inability to financially plan, strategically implement and successfully monitor a reliable and impervious budget. This type of economic agreement also gives funders additional control of settlement agencies day-to-day functions. Settlement agencies, who have experienced considerable funding losses, are also finding it economically challenging to account for fundamental organizational expenses such as human resources (staff salary, benefits, volunteers training), capital or overhead costs (rent, repairs, building management), and equipment and materials costs amongst other outstanding services/programs expenditures. In most cases, organizations are destined to diversify funders and/or raise finances through increasing of service/membership fees, foundation support, and fundraising/marketing initiatives (Clutterbuck & Howarth, 2009).
In terms of human resources and staffing issues, agencies are disproportionately compelled to utilize project funding to satiate the organizations’ inability to competitively compensate employees. The sector is currently subjected to volatile, part-time and contractual employment opportunities which hinder agencies’ ability to provide competitive wages, job stability and access to health/medical benefits. Employees are often asked to work an excessive amount of hours, sometimes with no financial compensation, which creates conditions on vicarious exhaustion and health complications (McIsaac, Park & Toupin, 2013). Statistically, the settlement needs and consequently the number individuals using the services/programs have exponentially increased, which has related to an increased workload for staff, who are finding it extremely difficult to fulfill their front-line obligations as well as the increased amount of administrative, clerical and unconventional duties/responsibilities. In other words, settlement organizations, its’ employees and volunteers, to some varying degree, are being asked to provide an effective and distinguished level of service, with inadequate social, economical and political resources and supports (Clutterbuck & Howarth, 2009). In conclusion, the instability of appropriate federal funding policies and strategies has related to an inability of settlement organizations to provide front-line services, community advocacy and social empowerment to immigrant and refugee communities. “Effective and mutually reinforcing relationships between governments and the community non-profit sector strengthen this advantage to the benefit of all Canadians.” (Clutterbuck & Howarth, 2009, p. 26), however the blatant anti-sentiment adopted towards the newcomer community contradicts the social work values of initiating, enhancing and promoting mutually beneficial relationships (OCASI, 2009). Furthermore, I understand, as other social service students should, that when immigrants and refugees succeed in the social, financial and political avenues of society, so do the individuals and community around them. This beneficial two-way process of settlement is essential to Canada’s commitment of inclusion, multiculturalism and diversity. Our ever-expanding multi-ethnic and social fabric has been internationally recognized but we remain institutionally subjective towards these communities, who will inevitably determine, monitor and alter citizenship, immigration and refugee policies in the future.
TWITTNI©K Thank you for reading