Starting a Business In Canada
Jun-Yu and her husband ran a fish plant in China, and were eager to operate a similar business in Canada, but “it was very difficult – there were lots of rules to read and understand before applying for a permit,” says Jun-Yu. “I was trying to learn English at the same time.” An NSMS Settlement worker helped with questions about how to look for information on getting a business license, and Jun-Yu and her husband recently gained their federal license to open up a fish plant on the North Shore. “NSMS staff was very friendly, and I found the information from the Settlement Team helpful,” says Jun-Yu.
Farsi Postpartum Group Empowering to Immigrant Women
The weeks and months following the birth of a new baby can be stressful and isolating for any new mother, and language and cultural barriers can sometimes make this time even more stressful. The NSMS Farsi Post Partum Support Group teaches strategies for dealing with difficult emotions and situations in a supportive, culturally appropriate context. One participant says she became “depressed, lost and confused” after the birth of her second child, but had no support network in Canada. “The program made me pay attention to my feelings…it taught strategies to calm emotions in effective and creative ways.” Being able to speak in Farsi also allowed her and the other participants to fully express themselves in a way that they were unable to do in English: “I understood their families, their culture and their background. I liked to hear others’ views on my situation.” Life with a new baby is still challenging, but “at least I am on my feet,” she says.
The (above) photo shows artwork from the Expression Program, which provides a safe space for immigrant youth to express their settlement experiences through art. Over the past year, program participants have shared their work with community members through a display at the North Vancouver City Library. “It felt so good seeing my painting at the library” said one participant: “my family saw and was proud of me so much.”
“Color Outside The Lines.” – Photo by Lauren Kramm
The Get Connected program connects newcomers aged 15-24 to the North Shore Community through employment workshops, recreational activities, discussions and projects. One Participant, Bahar, entered the program after only one month in Canada. Bahar’s English and understanding of Canadian culture significantly improved throughout the program, and she made friends and connections that she hopes to keep throughout her life. “Thanks to Get Connected I am much more confident going into my first year of Canadian high-school,” says Bahar.