Interesting recent article in PLoS ONE, 14(7) on “Strengthening resilience among migrant mothers living in Montreal, Canada” by Thalia Aubé, Sarah Pisanu, Lisa Merry.
From the Abstract:
“La Maison Bleue is a community-based perinatal health and social centre in Montreal that provides services during pregnancy up to age five to families living in vulnerable contexts. The study aimed to describe: 1) the challenges and protective factors that affect the well-being of migrant families receiving care at La Maison Bleue; and 2) how La Maison Bleue strengthens resilience among these families.
“We conducted a focused ethnography. Immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants were invited to participate. We collected data from November to December 2017 via semi-structured interviews and participant observation during group activities at La Maison Bleue. Data were thematically analysed.
“Twenty-four mothers participated (9 interviewed, 17 observed). Challenges to well-being included family separation, isolation, loss of support, the immigration process, an unfamiliar culture and environment, and language barriers. Key protective factors were women’s intrinsic drive to overcome difficulties, their positive outlook and ability to find meaning in their adversity, their faith, culture and traditions, and supportive relationships, both locally and transnationally. La Maison Bleue strengthened resilience by providing a safe space, offering holistic care that responded to both medical and psychosocial needs, and empowering women to achieve their full potential towards better health for themselves and their families.
“Migrant mothers have many strengths and centres like La Maison Bleue can offer a safe space and be an empowering community resource to assist mothers in overcoming the multiple challenges that they face while resettling and raising their young children in a new country.”
This SHRCC funded project, Rights for Children and Youth Partnership: Strengthening Collaboration in the Americas (RCYP) is based out of Ryerson University. The project aims to “increase knowledge and factors that either support or hinder the protection of children and youth rights in the Caribbean, Central American and disproportionately represented populations in Canada” including in Canada, The Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Trinidad and Tobago.
The project is seeking participation from Caribbean families and children with experience in the child welfare system in Canada. Your participation will support the RCYPs mission to “increase knowledge of factors which support or hinder the protection of children and youth rights in the Caribbean, Central America, as well as the diaspora populations in Canada, which are disproportionately represented in the Canadian child welfare system”.
From their website, “The Rights for Children and Youth Partnership: Strengthening Collaboration in the Americas (RCYP) is a SSHRC funded project. The goal of this project is to increase knowledge and factors that either support or hinder the protection of children and youth rights in the Caribbean, Central American and disproportionately represented populations in Canada.
“This project features a collaboration of research from universities, government, and non-government, and international organizations. Researchers involved in the project come from eight different countries around the world including: Canada, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Trinidad & Tobago”.
RCYP will be relaunching their blog this fall and are seeking contributions from researchers, practitioners and children and youth to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences regarding children and youth rights.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) project, The Dream Diaries tells the stories of refugee children from Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria and captures their struggles and their aspirations for their new futures. Inspiring and beautifully filmed, this series is important in gaining an understanding of some of what refugee children and youth experience.
Related upcoming event: This Thursday, January 25th, Culture Link is holding an open house to introduce its Children and Youth Centre in Toronto. See you there?
- “In 2016, close to 2.2 million children under the age of 15, or 37.5% of the total population of children, had at least one foreign born parent.
- “Children with an immigrant background could represent between 39% and 49% of the total population of children in 2036.
- “Almost half of children with an immigrant background were from an Asian country of ancestry, while less than one quarter were from a European country of ancestry or the United States.
- “Close to 15% of children with an immigrant background lived in a household with at least three generations.
- “More than one third of children with an immigrant background spoke only an official language at home, compared with less than 10% of their parents”.
Read the entire brief here.
Apply now for a 6 Degrees Junior Fellowship
From a 6 Degrees email blast: “Submit a project and foster inclusion in your community
- What: Become a 6 Degrees Junior Fellow or spread the word to strong candidates in your network
- Who: Ten changemakers under 30 years old will be selected from around the world based on how they propose to foster inclusion in their community
- When: Submit your application by August 14, 2017 to work on a project between September, 2017 and March, 2018.
- How: Submit your application here, or read more about the fellowship here.
“One of 6 Degrees’ signature initiatives is the 6 Degrees Junior Fellowship program, which seeks to identify and support young leaders who have made a commitment to fostering inclusion in their communities. The fellowship begins in September with a funded trip to Toronto to attend 6 Degrees Citizen Space (Sept. 25-27), followed by 6 months of ongoing project engagement with 6 Degrees staff.
“Fellows will benefit from the following:
An Inclusive Pass to all sessions of 6 Degrees Citizen Space, Sept. 25-27, 2017
Free travel and accommodation expenses to attend 6 Degrees Citizen Space
Connect with 10+ other Junior Fellows to discuss, explore and reflect on various themes of inclusion and citizenship
Benefit from extensive mentoring and networking opportunities
Receive a $2,000 grant to fund their community-building project
Are you eligible?
“This program is designed to support emerging leaders and their projects, therefore we invite applications from individuals under the age of 30.
“If you are not eligible, we encourage you to pass this onto others who are eligible or who have access to a network of bright, engaged youth.
“The deadline for applications is Monday, August 14, 2017. Early applications are encouraged. Apply now!”
How (well) do immigrant children adjust to new shores? Researcher Monica Valencia, Ryerson University, asked a group of children to answer the question through drawings.
She found that there were 4 themes in the children’s drawings:
- Sadness (leaving behind family, friends, neighbourhood)
- Anxiety (unfamiliar, sometimes hostile environment)
- Frustration (so much new to learn! Language, customs)
- Gratitude for friendship (peer support critical to happy integration).
See more immigration related stories by Keung here.
10. Syrian refugee children are welcomed to Canada with a dedicated play area at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. #WelcomeRefugees starts trending! Shared by @viraniarif.
9. The 1000 Schools Challenge rallies Canadian schools to welcome refugee children. Shared by @SetAtWork.
8. StatsCan releases report on immigrant children’s performance in math vs. their Canadian-born peers. Research matters! Shared by @StatCan_eng.
7. Syrian refugee children: A Guide for welcoming young children and their families is released. Shared by @CMASCanada.
6. The UNHCR & COSTI holds a Human Rights Child & Youth Poetry Contest. Art matters! Shared by @marcopolis.
5. The 2015 Prosperity Index names Canada the most tolerant country in the world. Shared by @CGBrandonLee.
4. Forty-six visible minorities are elected in #Elxn42. If they can see it, they can be it! Shared by @Andrew_Griffith.
3. Canada elects a government with a self-proclaimed feminist prime minister, who creates a Cabinet committee on diversity and inclusion, puts refugees in the immigration portfolio, and who returns the multiculturalism file to Canadian Heritage.
2.Trent University recognizes child care champion Martha Friendly with an honourary PhD. Martha is an advocate for inclusive, culturally-appropriate child care and early childhood education for all children in Canada. Shared by @TorontoStar.
As part of part of the SSHRC project, Immigration Trajectories of Immigrant Families, the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement has released the paper Discounting Immigrant Families: Neoliberalism and the Framing of Canadian Immigration Policy Change.
From the abstract:
“This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework to assist in understanding how the immigrant family is impacted by recent changes to immigration policy in Canada. We contend that neoliberalism, broadly defined, is a helpful lens through which to comprehend some of the specific policies as well as discursive outcomes which have real effects on immigrant families. Based on our findings from an in-depth literature review, our goal is to identify and summarize the recent changes to the Canadian policy environment and to develop a critical conceptual framework through which to understand policy change in relation to families and immigrants”.
The too-brief discussion of the “ideal immigrant” and the “ideal immigrant family” in the paper is provocative, or at least could be. Children, as part of an immigrant family, are social policy orphans. There is little attention devoted to immigrant children, both from the academic/research community and the federal/provincial government departments responsible for citizenship and immigration. The RCIS papers lack of depth on this issue fails to answer the first research question posed in the SSHRC project, i.e., How do all members of the family facilitate or impede the integration of immigrants? The paper briefly touches on the federal policy changes to the definition of dependent children from 22 and under to 19 and under, for children arriving under the economic class and/or family sponsorship. This is an important issue to highlight. Immigrant children, from birth to age eight, are also an important group to address. A federal policy response is warranted. Children in this age group are ripe for shaping, so to speak. It is odd that given the federal governments focus on integration, they are not developing programs, supports and services that promote acculturation. And why isn’t the academic/research community delving deeper?
Update August 12, 2014:
The 6th On New Shores conference will take place October 16-17, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. ONS Tentative program. ONS Registration. ONS Travel information. The conference is capped at 100. Get your registration in soon!
Contact organizer Dr. Susan Chuang for most current information: email@example.com