“When we are welcoming and supportive of diversity, our entire community benefits,” explains Nicole Barry, Sales Support Manager, Freedom 55 Financial, a division of London Life.
Supporting programs that provide language development, skills enhancement and community connection for new Canadians, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life recently made a $5,000 contribution through their Stronger Communities Together TM program to the New Canadians Centre.
“This initiative is rooted in collaboration to create positive, lasting change in our communities,” says Barry. “We are very excited to support and work with an organization like the NCC. Their mission of empowering immigrants and refugees to become full and equal members of Canadian society align with our values of welcoming and encouraging newcomers by providing the tools they need to be successful.”
A portion of the $5,000 went to sponsoring the New Canadians Centre’s recent multicultural fundraiser, One Night in Zimbabwe. The annual event is key in raising funds to provide sustainable programs focused on community integration for more than 800 new Canadians from 79 different countries from around the world.
Improving newcomers’ social integration, and networking with the goal of securing employment, are vital to empowering new Canadians while supporting a sense of belonging as they build a new life in Peterborough. Since 2016, the annual fundraiser has helped to support a 30% increase in the number of clients the NCC is now seeing as a result of welcoming and helping to resettle more than 400 refugees from Syria to Peterborough. Half of this number are children.
Together with community partners like Freedom 55 Financial in Peterborough, this year the NCC raised close to $40,000 to support programs and services that help newcomers develop and build capacity for language, skills development while promoting a sense of belonging and community connection.
“Being involved with the NCC has increased our awareness of the need to support new Canadians,” says Barry. “I often think about what it would be like to have to leave your home, come to a new country, learn a new language, find employment, and start all over again. If I was facing those challenges I would need support and encouragement. I am grateful to be working for an organization dedicated to supporting the success of new Canadians in our community.”