Grassroots ethnocultural groups are a critical factor in increasing inclusion and supporting the successful integration of immigrants, complementing settlement services and supporting families and individuals long after the settlement period, even into the second and third generation of settlement. However, despite a growing demand for their services, these groups have very limited budgets and rely primarily on volunteers.
The SPC offers supports to 24 ethnocultural groups through two coalitions, one meeting in English (Ottawa Ethnocultural Coalition - OEC) and one meeting in French (Projet Maison Ethnoculturelle Francophone - PMEF).
Visit the English Ethnocultural Coaliation at: ethnoculturalottawa.ca and Projet Maison Ethnoculturelle Francophone at pmef.ca.
Some highlights from our work this year include:
- Providing 16 ethnocultural groups in the Coalitions with a total of $33,060.00 for their activities, from collaborative project funds we raised, and hosting 4 member groups in their own applications, for an additional $41,900 to the groups. Through these funds, Coalition members were able to deliver 11 new programs related to health, education, employment or inclusion, benefitting hundreds of children, youth, seniors or families.
- Launching a “Promising Practices” on-line portal with four videos, an animated powerpoint and over twenty resource sheets highlighting promising practices in programming by ethnocultural groups. The resources are available in up to six languages and were launched at a very successful forum in September 2012, with over 120 people attending.
- Soliciting 10 new volunteers to work for the two Coalitions, including a group of volunteer grant writers;
- Providing 11 ethnocultural groups with a paid accountant who set up their bookkeeping and trained them to manage their system;
- Arranging free office or regular activity space for 7 ethnocultural groups and supporting 5 groups to establish 6 formal partnerships to increase programming or organizational capacity;
- Developing a website for each of the Coalitions, as well as for several of the individual member groups;
We are looking forward to continuing exciting work with the Coalitions, including:
- A demonstration project of micro-granting to ethnocultural groups providing seniors services, through the support of Human Resources Development Canada;
- A partnership project with Jewish Family Services (supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation) to mentor several ethno-cultural groups working with youth;
- The expansion of the Timebank, and
- Continuing work by our group of volunteer grant writers for the two Coalitions and the individual member groups.
We are grateful to
- the Government of Canada (Social Development Partnerships Program) for funding for the capacity building for both Coalitions
- The Ontario Trillium Foundation for support to the Ottawa Ethnocultural Coaltion
- United Way / Centraide Ottawa for support to the Projet maison ethnoculturelle francophone,
- Volunteer Canada,
- the City of Ottawa (Renewable Funding) for support for some SPC’s administrative costs for this work, and
- for in-kind support from Cultural Interpretation Services for Our Communities (CISOC) and Huddle