Canadian Council for Refugees winter working group meetings

The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) winter working group meetings will be held February 22-23, 2008 in Toronto.

The working groups provide a forum for CCR members and other refugee and immigrant rights advocates to come together to share information and to work together in areas of common concern.

The CCR working groups meet four times a year. Two of these meetings take place during the semi-annual CCR consultations. The other working group meetings take place in February (in Toronto) and in September (in Montreal).

From the CCR website: “The working group meetings offer an excellent opportunity to:

  • Participate in efforts to promote refugee protection and resettlement, and the settlement of refugees and immigrants
  • Discuss in depth pressing issues affecting refugees and immigrants in Canada
  • Share information and strategies with others from across Canada”.

Fri. Feb 22nd meeting: Inland protection working group & Immigration and settlement working group.

Sat. Feb 23rd meeting: Overseas protection and sponsorship working group.

York University summer course on refugee issues

The Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto is holding a summer course on refugee issues from June 7-14, 2008.

From the website, this description:

“The course is designed for academic and field-based practitioners working in the area of forced migration. Participants typically include government officials, non-governmental personnel, university faculty, and graduate students”.

Topics proposed for this year’s summer course include: the root causes of forced migration, refugee status and definition, human rights, and resettlement. I did not see any specific reference on children, parents or families, but I hope that the course will address issues related to refugee children, parents, and families or at least that students of the course raise them.

More from the course website:

“The summer course provides an interdisciplinary, interactive and experiential approach to the study of forced migration. Through attending lectures and related small group sessions, course participants develop a deepened understanding of the political, economic, social and cultural contexts of forced migration, and the major state and non-state institutions involved in refugee protection and advocacy”.

Students in the course are involved in simulated refugee hearings held at the Immigration and Refugee Board in Toronto. Students take on different roles and conduct mock hearings.

For more information, including costs, location, and applications, see the website.

Ontario Newcomer Settlement program funding

The Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has opened a call for applications for its 2008-2009 Ontario Newcomer Settlement program. The program is described as: “funding to community-based not-for-profit organizations across Ontario to facilitate the settlement and integration of newcomers to Ontario. The goal of the program is to help newcomers succeed and have the opportunity to contribute to all aspects of life in Ontario”.

Funding is provided to initiatives that:

  • Focus on finding new ways of meeting existing and emerging needs by filling service gaps;
  • Deliver effective programs and services for newcomers;
  • Improve coordination between settlement and other services – social, educational, language training, labor-market integration – needed by newcomers;
  • Increase the effectiveness of the settlement service delivery system through the development of innovative solutions to sector issues and collaboration with other service providers.

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be incorporated as a non-profit organization for at least two years and have at least two years experience in providing services for newcomer populations.

See the website for more information.Deadline is February 15, 2008.

L1

mylanguage.ca has been launched by Dr. Roma Chumak-Horbatsch, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University.

The site provides research-based information about the importance of maintaining and protecting the many minority languages of young children spoken in homes across Canada.

The goal of mylanguage.ca is to help parents, teachers, early childhood educators and other children’s services practitioners understand the personal, social, linguistic and academic reasons for maintaining and protecting home languages (L1).

Visit mylanguage.ca.

Scholars for the study of immigrant families

An interesting initiative that brings together researchers with an interest in studying immigrant families. Sound familiar?

The initiative is a result of a discussion held at the 2006 Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) conference. The purpose of the Scholars the Study of Immigrant Families includes:

Building a network of scholars studying issues pertaining to immigration and immigrant families and promoting collaboration between junior and senior researchers.

Promoting the use of innovative and culturally/contextually-embedded research methods.

Preserving the richness and realities of immigrant families’ lived experiences and providing representation of those voices within the institution of academia.

 

Researchers interested in studying immigrant families are invited to join the Scholars group and post their research interests and etc. on the website. Looks like a good source for networking! and not just for Americans.

A pre-session is being planned for SRA 2008 – coming up March 6-9th in Chicago and will include: 1) a discussion of methods and best practices in the study of immigrant families and 2) a discussion of policy initiatives the Scholars group would like to undertake.

More more info contact María Hernández, Jackie Nguyen or Carrie Saetermoe.

‘For our kids’, video from settlement.org

For Our Kids is a video that features nine parents talking about their – and their children’s experiences – as newcomers to the Ontario school system.

The video is a resource for immigrant parents and addresses several ways that parents are and can be involved in their child’s school. Teachers also talk about the importance of parent involvement.

See the video (and other supporting resources) at settlement.org.

The impact of changing demographics on maternal and child health

Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal, Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre will feature a keynote on cultural diversity at their annual conference, to be held Feb 27-29/08 in Scarborough.

From the conference website, this description:

“Ontario’s demographics are rapidly changing and the composition of our communities reflects the increasing diversity of the population. These changes have a significant impact on the planning and delivery of services across the province, in both large and small communities as well as urban and rural. Following an overview on the extent of these demographic changes, panelists will help us understand some of the specific implications for maternal and child health programs, and strategies to ensure that our programs meet the needs of our growing diverse population”.

Panelists are: Judith Bernhard, Ryerson University, Linda Kongnetiman, Calgary Health Region and Dr. Doug Norris, Environics Analytics.

The Arrival – a picture book about immigration

In The Arrival, author/illustrator Shaun Tan “tells” the story (without words) of an immigrant in a new land. Tan’s description:

“The Arrival is a migrant story told as a series of wordless images that might seem to come from a long forgotten time. A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope”.

It is both a book for children and a book for adults. It is beautiful, compelling and a must-see. Tan has won several children’s literature awards for this work. See Shaun Tan’s website for more on The Arrival, including some of the illustrations.

Migrant children project, Ireland

The Migrant Children project in Ireland (funded by the EU Commission through a Marie Curie Excellence Grant) is focusing its research studies on the perspectives of immigrant children and youth. From their website:

Our aim is to understand the social worlds of migrant children and youth in different migrant communities from their own perspectives by using child-centred research methods”.

Some of the research methods being used in the study include: stories, photographs and drawings by children about their experiences.

The Migrant Children project “seeks to map the social worlds of migrant children and youth at the local level in different contexts. The research will produce in-depth analysis of the nature and extent of integration, drawing on current ideas of transnationalism, citizenship and geographies of childhood, and will propose recommendations”. There are four strands of the project:

The Migrant Children Project is hosting an international conference “Children and Migration: identities, mobilities and belonging(s)” to be held April 9-11, 2008 in Cork, Ireland. From the conference website:

“While a wealth of research exists in the broad area of migration and childhood from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds, there are few opportunities to bring this together in an integrated forum. This conference aims to provide such a forum by focusing on the intersection of these research and policy areas, focusing on children’s own experiences and perspectives of migration, diaspora and transnationalism”.

“One of the aims of the event is to facilitate a dialogue between academic, practitioner and policy-maker perspectives. It is hoped the conference will also be an opportunity to bring together related but distinct areas of research/policy, for example national dynamics of integration with transnational processes, and, children’s experiences of migration with the experiences of children and youth in ethnic minorities”.

Keynote speakers include Katy Gardner and Kanwal Mand, University of Sussex, UK on the topic Migration and the life-cycle: what the study of transnational children in London can tell us and Jill Rutter, Institute for Public Policy Research, UK on Changing patterns of child international migration in Europe: challenges for research, public policy and practice.

Researchers from over 20 countries will participate and over 80 papers will be presented. Visit the conference website for more information.

On new shores: Guelph conference set for November 6-7, 2008

A preliminary schedule has been developed by organizer Dr. Susan Chuang for the 2008 On New Shores conference, to be held in Guelph Nov 6-7, 2008.

On new shores: International forum on issues of immigrant and refugee children, youth and families across the world.

Early bird fees (before June 1/08) for academics: $200 or $225 with dinner. For community/students: $175 or $200 with dinner. After June 1/08, all fees go up by $50.

A call for proposals/presenters should be released early in the new year and will be posted here. Any members of the Early Childhood Working Group of the CCICY interested in presenting? Let’s coordinate and collaborate.

For more information, contact Dr. Susan Chuang at the University of Guelph.

HRDSC funding for national organizations – children and families component

The Social Development Partnerships Program of Human Resources Development and Skills Canada have issued a call for proposals for their children and families component.

From the website:

“The goal of this Call for Proposals (CFP) is to offer three years of results-based grant funding to national organizations that have local chapters/agencies/offices that deliver front line programs and services to children/youth and their families in communities across Canada.

“The priority of this CFP is to enable national organizations to continue providing leadership in program development and supports to their local affiliates.

“The maximum amount of funding available is $200,000 per fiscal year, for a maximum of three years”.

The closing date of the call is February 8, 2008.

For more details, including eligibility requirements; FAQs; terms and conditions and more, see the HRSDC website.