For the month of July, CultureLink runs an exciting, intensive Summer Settlement Program (SSP) that provides a range of orientations for newcomers across the lifespan. Our youth activities – to name a few – include leadership and team-building workshops, youth theatre for leadership in St. Jamestown, a youth volunteer fair, several cycling orientations including bike rides around the community, urban outdoor orientations/walks in Fort York and Post-Secondary Conversations info fair and more.
July featured our ‘Urban Orientation’ that took place at Fort York. Here, led by Heritage Toronto experts, newcomer youth learned about the many outdoor trails in the city as well as some of Toronto’s history amid the Fort remains located just north of the Exhibition Grounds. In keeping with CultureLink’s focus on Green Settlement with our Bike to School and Bike Host activities, the summer included several cycling orientations that focused on bike safety and exploring the community by bicycle. We aim to empower youth and families to take to the community and bike lanes to explore their new home city safely and joyfully.
Families were met at the Catholic Orientation Centre where parents received information for all family members to assist them in a speedy integration. Tibetan and Filipino adults and seniors were reached out to in many community locations where they received one-on-one settlement as well as health-related group orientations. To support the SSP activities, CultureLink actively partnered with upwards of 30 agencies – all invested in assisting newcomers in their integration process in their new home.
Written by Lisa Randall, Settlement Workers in Schools Program Manager