The Community Connections Mentorship Program aims to bring new and established Canadians together to build a stronger, more welcoming and inclusive community. The history of the program, formerly known as the Host Program, can be traced back to the inception of CultureLink. Over the last 25 years, the program has engaged the communities to help newly arrived immigrants and refugees feel at home, and assist them with realizing their full potential in Canadian society.
While the Mentorship Program has inherited the key strengths of the former Host Program–being able to mobilize host communities to facilitate newcomers’ settlement–it has gone beyond the facilitation of settlement to focus sharply on the eventual integration of newcomers. This program assumes a holistic and multipronged approach to integrate newcomers not only economically but also socioculturally, and to empower newcomers to become our program partners rather than service recipients. This is done by matching newcomers with trained and experienced volunteer mentors in the following two major categories of group mentorship:
Citizenship and Civic Engagement Mentorship
Through group discussions, mentor coaching, and hands-on practice, this initiative not only teaches newcomers about Canada’s multicultural identities and the citizenship concept, but also provides opportunities for newcomers to actively participate in the process of community building. Whether they are learning about Canadian history and democratic institutions in the Citizenship Education Mentoring Circles, volunteering through our New Canadian Experience Initiative‘s various projects, or individually exercising their rights and responsibilities guided by mentors, the goal of the program is to help newcomers internalize the key Canadian values–diversity, social conscience, and democracy–through cross-cultural dialogues, actions, and interactions.
Recognizing that economic integration is an essential thread of all aspects of integration and is at the centre of our national interest, this initiative will assist newcomers to break employment barriers with the support of our volunteer mentors. Applying a group match approach, the career mentors help newcomer mentees enhance not only their skills, knowledge, and entrepreneurship but also their social capital in order to successfully integrate into the Canadian labour market.
For newcomers, to register you need to fill out the Newcomer Mentee Application Form . Please call 416-588-6288, ext. 210 if you encounter any problem with the form.
For Canadians who are interested to help please Sign up here to become a mentor today!