REACH Immigrant and Refugee Initiative
Collaborating with newcomer, immigrant and refugee community leaders, settlement agencies and stakeholders to identify gaps in support and services to build healthy newcomer families. This work includes youth and families increasing their networks of social support, addressing family violence and developing capacity to engage communities to understand top of mind issues.
• Through the collaboration with stakeholders like the Community Initiatives Against Family Violence (CIAFV), Islamic Family and Social Services Association, Multicultural Health Brokers, Assist Community Services and others, REACH leverages their networking to share information resources through the Edmonton Local Immigration Partnership (ELIP) and other networks to newcomer communities.
• With the Cultural Navigator model (Syrian, Eritrean/ Ethiopian and Somali) families asked for supports navigating the school system.
• Many male youths are abandoned when families learn they are gender variant, the Cultural Navigator provides sexual health and referral support.
• Virtual community engagement sessions were provided in Arabic to understand COVID-19 protocols, restrictions and vaccines.
• Community knowledge continues to increase in understanding the effects of PTSD and trauma on newcomer, immigrant and refugee communities through REACH training.
“Many immigrant and newcomer LGBTQ+ youth just don’t know what to do. So, they’re being faced with stress and anxiety, coming out issues, acceptance from their ethnocultural community, they’re facing a lot of battles. Most of them need emotional support. That’s a major one. They need linkages to resources. They don’t know the resources exist. That’s where I come in, linking them to different resources that are available.”
- Kamoi Lyngo, RIRI Cultural Navigator