PIP News – March 2019

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A recap of the Peterborough Immigration Partnership’s work in March 2019

Sewing Skills for Beginners Class provided 32-hours of instruction to newcomer women

“I love it, I LOVE it! Every day I want to do something new.”

These were the words of Fabiola Carrasco, a newcomer from Mexico when she received her certificate for completing the “Sewing for Beginners” workshop series earlier this month. Fabiola is among 6 newcomer women who were enrolled in the 32-hour sewing skills training program at the New Canadians Centre. The program was one of several trainings provincially funded by the Newcomer Settlement Program focused on enhancing the settlement and employment supports available to vulnerable newcomers in order to facilitate their social and economic integration.

When asked about what this training has meant for them, Tarkeia Elnaihom said, that she is proud of herself for learning how to sew, and Amal Alkhalaf added:

“Before joining this class, I didn’t know much about sewing and I was worried about learning (it). But now I’ve learned a lot and I would love to continue sewing.”  

As you walk down the hallway leading to the Sunflower Room, or what is now commonly known as the “Sewing Room,” you can often hear the sound of laughter and busy hands at work – work that is producing something that these women are proud of. And when you enter the room, you are treated to the site of 6 women surrounded by fabric as diverse as they are, curiously hovering over their sewing instructor, awaiting their next accomplishment.

Programs like this empower women and support their social and economic integration by strengthening their confidence and giving them both a sense of accomplishment and community. It provides them with opportunities that they would’ve otherwise missed, and presents a model for best practices around supporting newcomers in a welcoming environment.

Four participants of the 35-hour Sewing for Beginners training with instructor Zakia Al-Haddad (centre)


Established in 2008, the Peterborough Immigration Partnership (PIP) is a community-based partnership of individuals & organisations (including the NCC) which envisions a community where the meaningful economic, social and cultural integration of newcomers ensures a prosperous and inclusive community for all.

Please contact us for more information and to become involved in this partnership.

View the Minutes from our March 2018 Annual Meeting here