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Ride for Refuge and ride to make a difference!

Want to make a difference in your community? Wish you had more time to give back? Or just feel like being active on a Saturday morning with other community-minded people? ICA's Ride for Refuge can help you with all of these and it is just around the corner.
On Saturday October 1, 2016, join ICA staff, volunteers, friends and newcomers in our most fun event of the year. Ride for Refuge is our annual family-friendly bike and walk-a-thon where we grease up our chains and dust off our running shoes for a good cause. 60% of all newly arrived Syrian refugees in Victoria are children and youth, making your contribution even more vital for integrating newcomers into the community. Register today to join a team or start your own.
All funds raised go directly to ICA's Youth Services programs that create a welcome space for newcomer children and youth.

ICA and the Anglican Diocese request refugee sponsorship at event marking the 1-year anniversary of the death of Alan Kurdi

The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) and the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia invite community members interested in refugee sponsorship to attend an event on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 from 7 pm - 8:30 pm at 600 Richmond Avenue at the Parish of Saint Matthias. The event marks the 1-year anniversary of the death of Alan Kurdi, the young boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while fleeing Syria with his family.

Between September 2015 and July 2016, 4,145 persons died in the Mediterranean. It is estimated that an average of 2 children die every day in the crossing. Resettlement of refugees prevents these unnecessary deaths. At the anniversary event, ICA and the Anglican Diocese will provide a recap of their sponsorship work over the past year and will discuss ongoing opportunities for refugee sponsorship. Currently, both ICA and the Diocese are seeking sponsor groups for refugees in need of resettlement. Some newcomers who have arrived in Victoria as resettled refugees will also share their stories about life in Canada so far.

Police build trust with Syrian refugees
Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

For many Syrian refugees, the police are often feared and avoided at all costs in their home country. Here in Greater Victoria, the police and RCMP are making efforts to inform and dispel the misconceptions and fears Syrian refugees understandably may have about police.

On August 26, police members from Victoria, Saanich and the RCMP, met with newcomer Syrian Refugees and their families at an information session hosted at the local Masjid Al-Iman Mosque. The event was organized by the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee (DAC), a police and community group which works to build understanding between police and diverse communities. ICA has been a long-time member of the DAC and, along with the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS), helped to organize this event.

Find out more  here!

Upcoming programs at ICA!
Submitted by Amanda Gaunt, Training Coordinator
We are looking forward to an exciting autumn with the many interesting and useful programs on offer.

We have our continuing Settlement Orientations in English, Mandarin and Arabic on Wednesdays. These offer information ranging from adjusting to life in Canada and the basics of living in Victoria to the legal system, the healthcare system and employment standards.

We are continuing our Citizenship Test Preparation Classes for clients who will soon be taking the Canadian citizenship test, and we will be offering a Canadian Citizen Preparation Class for clients who are just starting the process towards citizenship and would like initial information about the rules and regulations around it.

For expecting mothers we have a Prenatal Class that helps women to understand the changes experienced through pregnancy and includes a hospital tour. For new parents, we have a Baby Talk Class that looks at the first year of a child's life, focusing on development, health and safety.

Find out more about our programs here!
ICA continuing to search for Arabic speaking volunteers!

ICA is looking for Arabic speakers to service as Community Connections or Life Skills volunteers. Volunteers are matched with newly arrived refugee(s) to Greater Victoria to provide orientation, friendship, support and English language practice. Community Connections volunteers are matched one-on-one with a newcomer individual or family and commit to meeting regularly for 3 - 6 months. Life Skills volunteers, on the other hand, provide short-term (e.g., one time, periodic) support for basic settlement needs.
Learn more about how you can get involved by contacting Sharmarke Mohamed, Facilitator of Refugee Volunteer Support Services at smohamed@icavictoria.org or by phone at 250-388-4728,
ext 129.

Read more from our blog here....
Welcome to ICA, Cynthia!
Cynthia Hu, Administrative Assistant (HR/Accounting)

Hi, my name is Cynthia Hu. Organizations similar to the ICA have helped me substantially since I was approved for immigration in China. Before coming to Canada, I enjoyed two fast-evolving, exciting years working for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. 
In 2010, I landed in Vancouver, BC. An immigrant serving organization gave me my first job in Canada as a community interpreter and referred me to education in bookkeeping and accounting at a college. Most of my time in Canada has been spent on the Lower Mainland, working for a diverse population while on staff at Surrey Libraries.
A place that embraces newcomers constantly invigorates me by showcasing newcomer's courage to make significant moves and changes in their lives and sharing their rich stories and cultures. I deeply appreciate the work done  by ICA for immigrants and refugees, and I am passionate about contributing to this essential work.
Canada astonishes me with its vast natural beauty and wondrous wilderness. I enjoy taking road trips, going on  hikes, and practicing photography in nature. I look forward to exploring more of Victoria, Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands.

Read the article on our blog!

In This Issue
Ride for Refuge and ride to make a difference!
ICA & and the Anglican Diocese request refugee sponsorship
Police build trust with Syrian refugees
Upcoming programs at ICA
ICA continuing to search for Arabic speaking volunteers
Welcome to ICA, Cynthia!
What's Happening?
Community Events


Save the Date


is Saturday, October 1

Join ICA staff, volunteers, clients and board members on this family friendly bike-a-thon. Register today.



Interested in supporting refugees resettle in our community on an ongoing basis? 


Build your donation into your monthly budget by making a 

monthly donation to ICA.


What's Happening?  

Weekly Settlement Orientation 
Important information to help newcomers settle in Victoria. 
Available in English: Every Wednesday 12:30 - 2:30 pm 
Availalbe in Mandarin: Wednesdays 9:30 am - 11:30 am, September 14-October 19
Available in Arabic on Wednesdays
12:30  - 2:30 pm  August 3-September 7

Homework Club   
Weekly homework club support for immigrant and refugee children and youth.   
September 14 - December 14, 2016

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm 

Baby Talk 
Covering topics such as feeding your baby, car seat safety, baby health, dental care, immunizations and parenting your baby. Fridays, September 30, October 7, 14, 21 & 28, 2016
10 am - 11:30 am 

Pre-Natal Classes   
Topics include changes to a woman's body during pregnancy; fetal development; nutrition, diet, and lifestyle, and much more.
Fridays, November 18 & 25, December 2, 9 & 16, 2016
10 am - 11:30 am 

Citizenship Classes 
Help applicants prepare for citizenship tests. 
Two Fridays per month.    

ICA Employment Services
If you are looking for employment or need to upgrade, ICA's Employment Services Centre can help!  

Community Events
Classic Boat Festival 
Welcome Boaters and Visitors to the 39th Annual Victoria Classic Boat Festival 
September 2 - 4, 2016
All Day 
Ship Point 
Ship Point Night Market
Select weekends throughout the summer featuring artists, musicians, entertainers, and food vendors.  
Fridays & Saturdays
6 pm - 10:30 pm 
Ship Point

Vancouver Island Blues Bash
Along with Nick Moss Band and David Gogo Band, Blues Bash 2016 will feature four free performances. 
September 3 - 5, 2016
All day 

Victoria International Chalk Art Festival
Welcome to Canada's largest street painting festival. Family-friendly, free arts celebration presents some of the world's top street painters. 
September 10-11, 2016
All day 
Ship Point

Eventide Music Series
A free, all-ages, accessible, outdoor series of musical performances. 
September 1, 2016
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Centennial Square
Moon Festival Lantern Celebration 
Join Saanich Parks and Recreation for a celebration of light and community. Lantern making stations, mooncakes and tea and entertainment by traditional dance and musical performers. 
September 17, 2016
6:00-9:00 pm 
Gordon Head Recreation Centre

Emergency Preparedness Workshop
Register for a free two-hour workshop. Learn how to be prepared for a power outage, winter storm or natural disaster. Gorge Swim Fest Society (GSFS) Mission. 
September 19 & 22, 2016
1:00 - 3:00 pm 
Victoria City Hall 

Fall Fairfield Harvest Fete
Annual community celebration. Everyone is welcome to join in the festivities. 
September 24, 2016
All day 
Port Park 

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