Dear CCI Friend,
Imagine you are forced to flee your home. Bombs have destroyed everything you have worked so hard for in life. You have nightmares about the future of your children. You are living in a refugee camp.
One day you get an opportunity to move to a new country. You’re safe. But there are challenges. There is a language to learn, a new culture to understand. You have to find a job to support your family.
So how do you cope with these challenges? You find other people from your country. It gives you comfort to live near other people who share a similar culture, speak the same language, eat the same food, have experienced a common history and more.
For every newcomer who has made their way to Ottawa, this is how settlement plays out. Go to any country in the world and you will find an ex-part Canadian community doing the same thing.
For newcomers to experience their full potential in Canada, integration is necessary. But settlement takes time. How much time? It can take years. Sticking with your own kind during those first few challenging years is normal. But history has proven newcomers will integrate into the larger community.
We can help newcomers integrate by being there to welcome them and to offer a helping hand when needed.