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Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) Established in 1989.

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Presentation on theme: "Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) Established in 1989."— Presentation transcript:

1 Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) Established in 1989

2 VIRCS Carlos Gaete, Executive Director , ext. 215

3 VIRCS Mission Statement To assist in the settlement and adjustment of immigrants and refugees in Canada, and to provide services designed to increase the newcomers participation in Canadian society by assisting the newcomer to overcome barriers.

4 VIRCS Services Aaron Gordon Settlement Program Aaron Gordon Settlement Program Employment Transitions and Coaching Program Employment Transitions and Coaching Program IMMPowerBC, a Skills Connect program IMMPowerBC, a Skills Connect program HR Solutions Project HR Solutions Project English as a Second Language English as a Second Language Project ENABLE ( for youth and children) Project ENABLE ( for youth and children) Volunteer Program Volunteer Program Multicultural Environmental Education Program Multicultural Environmental Education Program

5 Aaron Gordon Settlement Program Meghan Mergaert, Coordinator , ext. 242

6 Settlement Staff Linda Robertina Haixia Meghan

7 How we help Immigrants and refugees settle and adjust to life in Canada by receiving: Immigrants and refugees settle and adjust to life in Canada by receiving: Counselling Counselling Orientation Orientation Advocating Advocating Workshops and clinics Workshops and clinics One-on-one assistance One-on-one assistance And other supports And other supports

8 Services Every year, we help over 1500 people access: Housing Housing Healthcare Healthcare Social benefits Social benefits Immigration Immigration Education Education Community participation Community participation Transportation Transportation Legal assistance Childcare Tax assistance Referrals to community services Translation services And so much more!

9 Employment Transitions and Coaching Program Viet Tran, Coordinator ext. 206

10 Employment Transitions Staff

11 Program Benefits Immigrant and refugee employees benefit local employers by contributing: International skills, education, and experience International skills, education, and experience Diverse perspectives Diverse perspectives Loyalty and hard work ethic Loyalty and hard work ethic Cultural diversity to the workplace Cultural diversity to the workplace Access to international markets Access to international markets

12 Assisted Services One-on-one employment counselling and career planning One-on-one employment counselling and career planning Local labour market information Local labour market information Access to programs for education, skills training and wage subsidies Access to programs for education, skills training and wage subsidies Assistance with cover letters and resumes Assistance with cover letters and resumes Interview and job search techniques Interview and job search techniques Employment connections and job placements Employment connections and job placements Job and life skills training Job and life skills training

13 Resource Centre Clients and unemployed Canadians benefit by obtaining: Access to computers and internet for job search Access to computers and internet for job search One-on-one assistance with resumes and cover letters One-on-one assistance with resumes and cover letters Workshops, including basic computer skills Workshops, including basic computer skills Typing software, Better Accents© Software Typing software, Better Accents© Software Job board Job board Access to telephone, fax and copier Access to telephone, fax and copier

14 Employability Workshops Participants have the opportunity to acquire: Job search skills Job search skills Basic computer training Basic computer training Employment maintenance, life skills, and communication skills Employment maintenance, life skills, and communication skills English Skills for Job Search English Skills for Job Search

15 BC Skills Connect Program Annie Shum, Project Coordinator , ext. 218

16 Program Benefits Helps skilled immigrants find work that matches their education, skills, and experience Helps skilled immigrants find work that matches their education, skills, and experience Addresses labour shortages and maximizes resources Addresses labour shortages and maximizes resources

17 Achieving Full Potential Skilled immigrants receive assistance in finding employment in their professional field by accessing: Assessments of language, education and skills Assessments of language, education and skills Translation services and credential evaluation Translation services and credential evaluation Access to training programs, skills upgrading, professional organizations Access to training programs, skills upgrading, professional organizations Mentoring program at VIRCS Mentoring program at VIRCS

18 Human Resource Solutions Project Global Workforce for Local Business Viet Naveed Qureshi Anna Du Vent

19 Objectives HR Solutions is a research project designed to: Assist local employers recruit and retain immigrant workers Assist local employers recruit and retain immigrant workers Bridge the gap between employers and immigrants Bridge the gap between employers and immigrants

20 Phase One (Jul 2007Mar 2008) Focused on labour and skills shortages, their impacts, and potential workplace conflicts in a multicultural job market Focused on labour and skills shortages, their impacts, and potential workplace conflicts in a multicultural job market Questionnaires for immigrants and employers Questionnaires for immigrants and employers Responses showed gaps in understanding between employers and immigrant staff Responses showed gaps in understanding between employers and immigrant staff

21 Phase Two (Mar 2008Dec 2008) Follow-up on Phase One Follow-up on Phase One Will emphasize workplace relationships Will emphasize workplace relationships Will consist of interviews with local employers and immigrant staff Will consist of interviews with local employers and immigrant staff Two focus groups Two focus groups

22 English as a Second Language Christianne OCarroll, Coordinator , ext. 210

23 ESL at VIRCS since 1989 For immigrants, refugees, Canadian citizens, and international visitors For immigrants, refugees, Canadian citizens, and international visitors Over 100 students attend our classes per year Over 100 students attend our classes per year More than 40 volunteers help in the classroom More than 40 volunteers help in the classroom

24 Our Classes Morning and afternoon classes focus on studying the English language and learning about Canadian culture Morning and afternoon classes focus on studying the English language and learning about Canadian culture Evening classes are for pronunciation and communication for those seeking employment Evening classes are for pronunciation and communication for those seeking employment Afternoon pronunciation drills Afternoon pronunciation drills

25 ESL at VIRCS is for Everyone Continuous learning: Offered year-round, even in the summer Continuous learning: Offered year-round, even in the summer Accommodate varying levels: Individualized homework program Accommodate varying levels: Individualized homework program Flexible: Continuous enrollment Flexible: Continuous enrollment Accessible: Affordable rates Accessible: Affordable rates

26

27 English for Job Search Workshop 10-week workshop, offered 4 times a year 10-week workshop, offered 4 times a year Helps internationally trained professionals and skilled workers find and keep appropriate employment Helps internationally trained professionals and skilled workers find and keep appropriate employment Focuses on clear pronunciation, communication skills, and workplace language Focuses on clear pronunciation, communication skills, and workplace language

28 Project ENABLE Negin Naraghi , ext. 203

29 Project ENABLE For immigrant and refugee children and youth Homework clubs Homework clubs Tutoring Tutoring Adjustment Support Groups Adjustment Support Groups Youth Activity Night Youth Activity Night Youth STRIDES Youth STRIDES

30 Homework Clubs and Tutoring Helps students integrate into their new school by: Providing one-on-one assistance with homework at any level and any school subject Providing one-on-one assistance with homework at any level and any school subject Enhancing the students self-concept, self-esteem, and self-confidence Enhancing the students self-concept, self-esteem, and self-confidence

31 Adjustment Support Groups Facilitated by professional therapists Facilitated by professional therapists Assist children and youth facing barriers associated with settlement Assist children and youth facing barriers associated with settlement Designed to support children and youth who have lived through extreme and significant life experiences such as war, repression, and familial loss Designed to support children and youth who have lived through extreme and significant life experiences such as war, repression, and familial loss

32 Youth Activity Night Creates with experiences that link newcomer youth to their new community Creates with experiences that link newcomer youth to their new community Provides safe venues for youth to meet socially and make new friends Provides safe venues for youth to meet socially and make new friends

33 Youth STRIDES S tudent T raining for R efugees and I mmigrants to D evelop E ducational S eminars Trains immigrant and refugee youth to create awareness- raising workshops around immigrant and refugee issues Trains immigrant and refugee youth to create awareness- raising workshops around immigrant and refugee issues Youth present their workshops in schools and community groups Youth present their workshops in schools and community groups

34 Youth BYOB Seminars Break Your Own Barriers! A community anti-racism project for youth ages Youth address racism, discrimination, and hate Youth address racism, discrimination, and hate Promotes healthy cross-cultural relationships Promotes healthy cross-cultural relationships Develop partnerships with organizations and agencies that work with youth from diverse backgrounds Develop partnerships with organizations and agencies that work with youth from diverse backgrounds

35 Volunteer Program Christopher Geater, Coordinator ext. 212

36 Volunteering is Rewarding Make new friends from all around the world Make new friends from all around the world Develop new skills and refine existing skills Develop new skills and refine existing skills Gain experience in a multicultural environment Gain experience in a multicultural environment By contributing your skills and time, you make a difference! By contributing your skills and time, you make a difference!

37 VIRCS Volunteers and their programs Community Settlement Practicum Student Office Assistant Receptionist Therapist Enable Summer Camp Volunteer Homework Club Tutor Youth Leader 1 on 1 Tutor ESL Classroom Volunteer Assistant Employment HR Research Assistant Workshop Facilitator Volunteer Mentor Christmas Party Yoga Teacher Open House Income Tax

38 Volunteering Benefits Everyone people a year volunteer at VIRCS. Volunteers contribute by: Creating a welcoming environment for newcomers Creating a welcoming environment for newcomers Learning and teaching new skills Learning and teaching new skills Helping professionals learn the skills to succeed by mentoring Helping professionals learn the skills to succeed by mentoring Fostering a sense of community Fostering a sense of community Becoming part of the VIRCS family Becoming part of the VIRCS family Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers!

39 Multicultural Environmental Education Project for Newcomers Gagan Leekha , ext. 217

40 Multicultural Environmental Education Project for Newcomers This is our newest project that will involve our clients, staff and the wider multicultural community in: Sharing stories Increasing awareness Inspiring action Building bridges

41 Program Objectives Program participants will: Learn healthy, environmentally-friendly, cost-effective practices Learn healthy, environmentally-friendly, cost-effective practices Enjoy the natural beauty of Victoria and learn how to preserve it Enjoy the natural beauty of Victoria and learn how to preserve it Establish relationships within the wider community Establish relationships within the wider community

42 Take Action! Join us for a workshop or field trip Volunteer with our project Sign up to stay up-to-date on opportunities to get involved!

43 VIRCS – Leading by Example VIRCS Goes Green! This year we have the goal of having a ZERO WASTE Open House! Please help us achieve our goal of not creating any waste for our landfills. Please sort your paper, paste, and plastic waste according to the signs on the bins. Thank you!

44 Get Involved! Interested in getting involved with VIRCS? Volunteer Volunteer Become a member Become a member Make a donation Make a donation Speak to any of our staff for more information.

45 Thank You to our Funders and Partners Service Canada Service Canada BC Government BC Government BC Public Service Agency BC Public Service Agency Victoria Foundation Victoria Foundation The City of Victoria The City of Victoria United Way United Way Esquimalt Bingo Association Esquimalt Bingo Association Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children Coast Capital Coast Capital Bill Hartley Insurance Services West Corp London Drugs the Q A-Channel CFUV FM Monday Magazine Focus on Women Times-Colonist Shaw

46 Thank you to Open House Donors Safeway Canada Safeway Canada Market on Yates Market on Yates Thrifty Foods Thrifty Foods Silk Road Aromatherapy and Teas Co. Silk Road Aromatherapy and Teas Co. Bean Around the World Bean Around the World Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Blue Carrot Café Blue Carrot Café Fujiya Japanese Foods Don Mee Restaurant Side Dish Restaurant Le Petit Saigon Pig BBQ Joint Harumi Tabatha Khalsa Diwan Society Perikilis One Slice Pizza. end


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