Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • October-November 2022 • Circulation 5000

Looking Forward to New Beginnings

The Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) is a community full of love, caring, and support. In this and future articles, we will inform readers of the non-profit organizations operating in the EIC facility in order to bring light to their many good deeds.

Changing Together – A Centre for Immigrant Women

More than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the board, staff, volunteers, students, and clients of Changing Together are ready to return to their much-loved and anticipated activities at the EIC.

During the past two years the Centre saw a drastic decrease in regular class attendance. Changing Together lost some of their valued and invaluable volunteers and teachers and was forced to temporarily suspend the Sewing for Peace project and other Healing Circle activities like yoga and Zumba classes.

However, both the language and computer classes were able to continue, thanks in part to the kind-hearted willingness of dedicated staff who volunteered their time and resources, and several other volunteers from the Edmonton community. Special mention must be made of beloved volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who not only agreed to sit on the Board of Directors as Chairperson and Treasurer, but volunteered to teach as well, giving one-on-one instruction to some of the students. Three volunteers were also instrumental in holding the sewing classes together.

Financial support for most programs suffered and dwindled to a trickle during this period. It has been difficult to keep the doors open but for the emergency funds received from the three levels of government and from private donations.

Changing Together is forever grateful to the Telus Community Board for offering a grant to continue the Prevention of Family Violence program and the Bi-Cultural Parenting activity during the pandemic. It enabled many immigrant women and children to access much-needed and urgent assistance during trying times when incidents of conflict and violence within the family increased. While the grant was meant to sustain the program for only a year, assistance to clients will continue for as long as the services are needed and as long as Changing Together has qualified volunteers to provide the necessary help.

Today, Changing Together is looking ahead with much enthusiasm and excitement at reuniting students and teachers, clients and support workers, volunteers, and the community at large. There will be new faces at the Centre to welcome students and clients, with many new volunteer teachers to take over from those who have made the decision to retire or who have moved to other provinces and countries. The organization is in the process of recruiting a new Coordinator for the Family Services Program since their beloved and irreplaceable social worker has decided to hang up her hat after 18 years, with plans to spend more time with her hubby and grandchildren.

There is great hope in the air that while not all effects of the pandemic are entirely behind us, the future promises better things to come. The fall brings new beginnings for Changing Together. Welcome to a joyful and productive year for everyone!

Information provided by the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

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