Immigration Waterloo Region Weekly
June 29, 2020

Stay home and stay healthy, Waterloo Region. We are in this together.

Immigration Partnership Updates
Waterloo Region's health officials recommend that everyone should wear non-medical masks or face coverings in situations where they are not able to maintain physical distancing, even if they have no symptoms.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has created tip sheets in 22 languages explaining the do's and don'ts when wearing a non-medical mask. These multilingual resources can be found on our website under “Multilingual and other Resources for Immigrants and Service Providers,”  together with tip sheets developed by the Ontario Government for different sectors to protect workers, customers and the general public:

As the community opens up to phase 2 and 3 and as restaurants begin to operate, it is important to support the local economy. Check out this list of multi-ethnic restaurants in Waterloo Region, some of which were started or owned by immigrants, and support these local businesses.

In this short video, produced by ISSofBC, six Indigenous individuals extend a welcoming message to newcomers to Canada. It provides a glimpse of Indigenous history in Canada, and reflects the wide diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada and their cultures. 
Participate in the #KeepFamiliesSafe campaign and help flatten the curve of family violence
Community Service Updates  
Immigrant Services and Interpretation Open

St. Louis LINC Classes are Closed for the Summer

Check the St. Louis website for updates for Fall St. Louis LINC classes. St. Louis LINC offices will reopen on Tuesday, August 31, 2020 at 8:30 am. You can reach the office at: 519-745-1201, ext 224, Main Campus; ext 400, Highland Campus.

Newcomer Mental Health & Well-being Program: A Promise of Partnership (NMHP)

The primary focus of Carizon’s NMHP is to promote and support the mental well-being of Newcomers and to align mental health services for refugees and persons with protected status who have resettled in the Region of Waterloo. To learn more about “The Promise of Partnership Project,” register for any services, or to make a referral, please contact or 519-743-6333. (Information available in  Farsi, Spanish, Arabic, Tigrigna)

Greater KW Chamber of Commerce Seeking Volunteers for Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The Greater KW Chamber of Commerce wants to build on its commitment to diversity and inclusion through forming a committee of members to listen, discuss and provide advice for the Chamber for the path to moving ahead. The focus of this committee will be to ensure diversity and inclusion is present in all aspects of the Chamber's work, communications, processes and events.

Francophone Community Grants Program Open for Application

The Francophone Community Grants Program supports the cultural and commercial vitality of the French-speaking population, with a focus on improving front-line services and promoting the French language and culture. The deadline to submit an application is August 5, 2020 and projects must be implemented between October 15, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

Seniors Community Grant Program is Now Open

The Ontario government is providing up to $4 million for the Seniors Community Grant Program, a significant increase over last year. This funding will help non-profit organizations, local services boards, or Indigenous groups develop programs for seniors that focus on combatting social isolation, promoting seniors' safety and well-being, improving financial security and making communities age-friendly. 

Emergency Community Support Fund-Round Two Open for Application

United Way Waterloo Region Communities is accepting applications for round two of the Emergency Community Support Fund! This fund is open to all qualified non-profit organizations in Waterloo Region. Deadline: July 7, 2020.

New Initiative to Increase BIPOC People Representation on Non-Profit Boards of Directors 

The New Rules calls on Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) to join boards of directors for charities and non-profits in Waterloo Region. Participating in Boards of Directors have many benefits such as professional networking and connections, skills and associations you can add to your resume, governance and leadership training, etc.

Funding for Projects to Improve Black-led Organizations’ Workplaces and Community Spaces
The Supporting Black Canadian Communities Call for Proposals (CFP) provides capital assistance to Black organizations in Canada to build capacity to better fulfill their mission and better serve Black communities in Canada. Deadline: July 27, 2020.

How to Help
The goal of “A Better Tent City” project is to provide homeless people with a safe place to tent during the pandemic. To donate food and other consumable items, you can drop them off at Duke St door of St John the Evangelist Anglican Church (23 Water St, Kitchener), Wednesday and Friday, 2pm-4pm. Also, Cash donations are urgently requested to support construction of 8 additional cabins, indoor sinks, cleaning items and other direct supports for the residents.
Federal, Provincial and Local Updates
COVID-19 Information and Resources

In this article, members of the Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre, University of Waterloo and McMaster University describe the vulnerabilities refugee newcomers face in the context of COVID-19, including barriers to accessing healthcare services, disproportionate rates of mental health concerns, financial constraints, racism, and others.

A new Institute for Canadian Citizenship–Leger poll reveals that 64% of new Canadians fear rising discrimination amid the pandemic, and many report being judged and targeted.

Anybody living in Canada who has a long-term condition or disability, including undiagnosed or non-visible should complete this Canada Statistics survey open until July 6. The collection of this data will determine the needs of the population and help decision makers implement appropriate support measures.

This Financial Post article explains why Canada should continue its plan to increase the number of immigrants to ensure the country's long-term economic growth, regardless of the current economic impact of COVID-19.

CERC Migration's Data and Methods Lab designed an interactive dashboard to help assess COVID-19 impact on immigrant workers.

Children and Youth Planning Table has added a new section to the Family Compass website specifically for summer resources. A list of activities in the region is now available featuring in-person and virtual camps and online programs and activities to learn at home.

World Education service (WES) presents a summary of the key themes that emerged from the #ImmigrantsWork campaign launched on May 21 through a Twitter chat with immigrant employment councils across Canada. The campaign aims to raise awareness of immigrants’ contributions to Canada, and how we can best include immigrant talent in Canada’s recovery.

Starter Hub is offering up to 50 free websites to Waterloo region businesses that do not currently have a website. This is to help enable businesses affected by covid-19 to reach their customers. There is absolutely no cost involved to the business owner, nor any obligations in the future.
Virtual Events and Webinars
Art for Hope Silent Online Silent Auction, June 24 to July 11
Crossing Borders is hosting an online art auction to raise funds to sponsor refugees left behind in the chaos of war, to reunite them with their families in Waterloo Region. All proceeds from the Art for Hope Silent Auction go directly to the Mennonite Central Committee’s Crossing Borders Hope Fund.
On this occasion, Tamarack Institute brings this webinar where participants will explore how community leaders can step forward to be accountable to their communities as they navigate a shared path forward.
Virtual Celebration of Citizenship, July 1, 2-3pm
Join Canada's first cross-country virtual citizenship ceremony! It will be a special celebration on YouTube with interviews with new citizens who are frontline workers during COVID-19, a performance by Indigenous drumming duo, Warrior Women and greetings from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Prime Minister.
Canada Day Virtual Celebration, July 1,
Join City of Kitchener virtually on July 1 for a Canada Day broadcast on CTV Kitchener . The program will feature musical performances from The Beaches , BAD CHILD & Rufus John and will also feature profiles of local heroes making a difference in our community through these unprecedented times. Other virtual celebrations, here:
Virtual Roundtable with Allies for Refugee Integration & Pilot Partners, July 9, 1-2:30pm
The Allies for Refugee Integration (ARI) project brings this community discussion on how sponsored refugees and sponsors are accessing settlement services during the pandemic and beyond.
Beyond The Headlines Online: Responding to Inequity in Our post-COVID World, July 15, 12-1pm
The University of Waterloo, in partnership with CBC Kitchener-Waterloo, hosts this online event to explore whether our post-COVID society may be more responsive, or more divisive as the pandemic has exposed issues of equity in our society such as the value of work, gender roles, universal basic income and racial profiling.
COVID 19 Coverage and other News

The Immigration Waterloo Region calendar has information about local programs and events for newcomers. Subscribe for a digest of events coming up in the next week or add your own events to share .
Feel free to send suggestions or relevant events/resources to include to the Immigration Waterlooo Region weekly by emailing  Dan Vandebelt ( ) and Alejandra Amezquita Gutierrez ( )
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