PHILIPPINES IN THE HEART OF CANADA

Canadians of Filipino origin make up one of the largest non-European ethnic groups in Canada (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-621-x/89-621-x2007005-eng.htm). The number of immigrants from the Philippines almost doubled (95%) from 232,665 in 2001 to 454,335 in 2011 (http://canadaimmigrants.com/filipino-immigrants-to-canada/). Also, in another recent study by Statistics Canada (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2017397-eng.htm), it stated that “There was significant variation in chronic low-income rates among immigrants from different places of birth. In 2012, immigrants from Northwestern Europe, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and the United States had rates in the 4% to 5% range, while those from East and South Asia had rates in the 17% to 19% range—roughly four times higher”. These statistics show that it is a worthwhile endeavour to provide services to help integrate newly arrived immigrants and workers from the Philippines since there is a great potential for these and other Canadians of Filipino origin in contributing positively to Canadian society.

In the second meeting of the newly formed Board of Directors of Philippine Centre Canada, the Board was given the challenge of not only promoting the integration of newly arrived Filipinos and Canadians of Filipino origin into Canadian society but also in engaging them in actively participating in building Canadian society. Philippine Centre Canada now takes on a new meaning, Philippines in the heart (centre) of Canada, a vision of enabling Filipino-Canadians and newly arrived Filipinos to help shape the community and the country that they now live in. In the coming year, PCC will strive to offer a number of programs that will provide the necessary information and skills that can be used in helping build a better community and society. In the process of acquiring skills in various training programs, the participants, including all volunteers, will also gain more knowledge of the community they live in and hopefully commit themselves in helping build flourishing communities.

One of the possible programs envisioned to accomplish the goals of integration and engagement is the program on Communication which could have the following components:

1. Communication for Improvement (partly request by migrant workers)
a. English and French language skills
b. Communications in the Workplace (e.g. applying for jobs, job interviews, conflict resolution)
c. Communications in the Community (including preparing for Immigration tests, public speaking)
2. Communications for groups – especially for members of all Filipino organizations
a. Governance in organizations
b. Writing project plans and proposals
c. Spreading the word – advertising, presentations to groups
3. Technology and Communication
a. Basic computer literacy
b. Web portals for organizations
c. Social Media & Online collaboration

PCC has been offering computer and French language courses in the past which were mostly for individuals. This time there will be an added emphasis on giving training to those who work in groups such as members of different Filipino organizations. Also, in partnership with the Dominican University College, new ways of delivering the training will be explored. Such delivery methods could include online
mentoring, webinars, podcasts available online, etc.. Filipinos are known to be hard working and many have more than one source of income requiring variable work hours which is not conducive to attending regularly scheduled courses. Many would most likely participate in the training if there is more flexibility in the modes of delivery so as to accommodate their work hours.

PCC has been blessed with volunteer instructors who have generously provided time and effort to serve the community. With the new challenge of an expanded training selection, there will be a greater need for such unselfish volunteers. Already, a number of new Board members have offered their time and expertise to rise up to the challenge. Filipinos in Canada are known not only to be hard working but also generous in caring for others. These are just some of the traits that Filipinos can use to help build a better society. We are asking all members of the Filipino community and their friends to participate as well as contribute in the coming PCC programs and activities. Although PCC is in the process of revamping its online presence, you can still follow us in Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/306055836099136/), or email us at info.pccottawa@gmail.com. Watch out for what’s coming!

Posted on: February 19, 2018, by :

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