The Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton (SCCSE) is a leading non-profit organization established in 1991, incorporated in March 2001 and is currently a registered charity under paragraph 149(1)(f) of the Income Tax Act (The Act) 874823412RR0001.
Adjusting to a new life in Canada can be a both exciting and strenuous experience that is the reason this organization was originally created to help newcomers to adjust life in Canada and help them navigate system to make newcomers integrate themselves into the Canadian society easily.
Our team of diverse settlement counselors provide first-language settlement supports to immigrants and refugees in English, French, Somali, Arabic and an ever-expanding number of other languages. We directly assist these clients in responding to complex concerns related to their migration and integration process. Our programs are additionally dually designed to both empower and support clients through capacity and skills-based training and workshops as well as through individualized one-one client appointments.
SCCSE through its paid employee and volunteers is committed to supporting the successful integration of immigrants and refugees into Canada. As part of this commitment, SCCSE has developed a comprehensive settlement service programs that directly support newcomers to address their immediate and essential integration needs. Our team of diverse and multilingual settlement counsellors assist newcomer clients to navigate and familiarize them with core Canadian systems and cultures and address a wide range of settlement-related topics.
Our volunteers are categorized into the following:
1- Housing Volunteers that help refugees and new immigrant find housing: They understand the rental low and the Bylaw associated with it. Taking into consideration financial constrains refugees and new immigrant have, they look into what is available and how affordable they are. They try to make sure the housing unit is close to transit, school etc, will they feel safe cultural competency of the landlord etc.
2- Finances: Volunteers that help refugee and new Immigrant open a bank account, provide them financial counselling in the language they understand, provide them training how to do budgeting (i.e renting/Food/utility/transportation etc) so they can stretch the money they have.
3- Interpretation: These volunteers Provide them language translation/Interpretation at the beginning but they also encourage refugees for the longer term to gain confidence in understanding the local language so they can become independent. They take into consideration age and gender of the person to make them more comfortable. Interpreters are screened before assigning to refugees.
4- Shopping: These volunteers provide training to the refugees and new immigrant to shop for food especially familiar food but also introduce them Canadian food and cooking. They give them orientation of how to use the stove and put out of fire encase fire breaks out. They also provide training to shop for clothing, introduce them second hand clothing to help them stretch their budget. Buy adequate winter clothing
5- Transportation Volunteers: These volunteers provide refugee and new immigrants how to use the transit system, teaching them how find but routes etc teaching them the fast way of navigating the transit system to get to where they want.
6- Language Training: These volunteers have connection with the language training providers, so they connect ahead of time with the expectation of the arrivals of refugees and new immigrant research available ESL classes, help refugees and new immigrant register those courses. They do assessment the kind language training they need based on the available courses (Focus on work place related or more general language)
7- Employment: These volunteers find out available employment service providers and connect refugees and new immigrants, train them how to use the internet to search jobs, provide them workshop on how to search jobs, resume writing, interview skills. They provide them practical help and emotional support. Research re-qualification of refugees if they have higher level of education or qualification. Our volunteers are connected with all the employment services in Edmonton and have developed a relationship with them. They provide them ways of getting their credential assessed and upgrading possibilities.
8- Child Care: These volunteers help them refugee find a daycare for their kids while navigating the system to help them settle Canada. Volunteers find day cares that are affordable and not far away from where the refugees live.
9- Health: These volunteers help refugees register provincial health insurance, check with IRCC about the process of registering for interim Health (IFH) program. Find sources of special equipment, care and support if the refugees are families with special needs. Explain to them certain medical services are not covered by the insurance and need to be paid out of pocket and that needs to be added to the budget.
10- Education: These volunteers identify schools in the area and assist newcomers with registration and preparing their children for school/ provide workshop of Canadian school’s system so their kids can be successful in school. Give them orientation of Canadian school system and adult education provided online. We do have 3 days a week homework club at the center where parents can drop their kids for academic support/ mentoring
11- Religion: These volunteers try to understand refugee’s religious observant so they can locate for them a place of worship when arrive
12- Cultural: These volunteers are trained understanding various cultures that exists in Edmonton. They also understand the cultural of the refugees that are sponsored and plan how to support newcomers’ cultural adjustment
13- Crises and Trauma: These volunteers have higher level of understanding mental health/crises and trauma and have psychologist that are available to them so they can refer newcomers should a need arise.
14- Recreation: These volunteers have recreational facilities that are low cost or for free or subsidy can be found. They provide newcomers workshop in this area as how they could be active in their communities.
15- Fundraising: These volunteers help raise fund within the community, they carefully monitor finances/give tax receipts to donors.
16- Pre-arrival Preparation: These volunteers do pre-arrival prep so we can be ready to recieve the refugees. They review the settlement plan from above to make sure nothing is missed and assign individuals certain activities. They gather all the forms needed by the newcomers (i. social insurance/medical insurance/Child tax benefit/list of housing. create calendar for orientation workshops