Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Post Creative Forum Summary

Post-Creative Forum Summary
Prepared by Shirley Eu

Creative Forum
When: 21 March 2008 (Friday)
Where: Shirley’s home
Attended by: Bob & Leri Canlas (Filipinos), Sim Lumongsud (Filipino), Winnie Lui (Hong Kong), Bill Vaxevanis (Ethnic bkgd: Greek), Shar Dubas (Canadian) and Shirley Eu (Singaporean)

Key points we talked about:

1. What are some things we, as immigrants to Canada would like to know?
- Where to live, map of the area, public transportation, medical services, leisure, language courses, free stuff, $ saving tips, church, finding a bank, job search,
where to purchase groceries, where the library is, immigrant services, cultural
directory, associations/clubs, websites that are immigrant-helpful.

2. What can we do differently to “adopt” and help immigrants that isn’t done today?
- Be a coach. Help practically.

3. Some problems we face:
- Too many immigrants are coming, too few of us, need partnering with govt
before we have credibility, difficult to define criteria for how to help, how long
we would avail ourselves to help, unsure how to surface immigrants to help immigrants.

4. Working title: Immigrants helping immigrants
• We would be better off once more working with churches who have immigrants willing to help others from their own culture settle in rather than create a new non-profit/ non-religious organization looking to find government grant.
• Name card idea/ short leaflet with immigrant services to hand out to immigrants at the airport or to churches who can help put in the hands of the right people.
• Help connect immigrants by advertising for the World Café meeting once a month.

5. Interesting points we discussed:
- How can we reach the immigrant before they even leave their country?
- Could we put a kiosk at the airport to meet the immigrants?
- Create a website specific to connect immigrants to the help they need. Blogsite?
- How do we finance this without a government grant?
- Can we do this with a government grant?
- Our primary motivation is to help immigrants settle, help them belong and in the course of our friendship introduce them to Jesus Christ.

Action points:

1. We would like to investigate how immigrants are settling into Canada (those who have arrived the last 12 months).
2. We would like to assess how they’ve been helped/ how they haven’t been helped.
3. We would like to enquire how many immigrants in our churches would be keen to be immigrants-helping-immigrants?

Shirley will look into possibilities of obtaining a government grant.
Bob and Leri are considering designing an immigrant newsletter.
Sim is interviewing immigrants.



At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Leri C said...

Some feedback from Bob, Leri Canlas:

1. We think we should put emphasis on creating a tool or resource that can easily be disseminated by us, or churches or through stores or online. Since the group is full of creative people, we feel that that is the group’s strength and gifting.
2. We feel that starting up a new non-profit organization to provide immigrant assistance seems to be a big vision that is good to pursue but you don’t have to be creative to do it. However it can surely make good use of creative tools.

3. Personally, we are not inclined to join another immigrant assistance organization because we are already trying to start such a ministry within our church. However, we would be glad to partner with the organization in the area of Surrey.

4. Another area that can be explored is youtube.

At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another thought about the name Immigrants helping Immigrants. It’s a good name, however, if it ever becomes an acronym (IHI), it will sound really funny, if not bad, to Filipinos. It’s like using the acronym PEE

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

How about HI? Helping Immigrants?

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Vaxevanis said...

Thanks for inviting me to the creative forum Shirley. I feel that we have started something wonderfully big and significant. I look forward to the next forum and to see how God is going to change lives through this. I quickly created a logo that can be seen at my blog www.vaxevanis.com/wordpress but this is just for fun at the moment.

My father, being an immigrant, agrees that this would be a very beneficial ministry as it was a difficult time for him during the first year or 2 living in Canada. My mother immigrated to Canada twice! I'll have to ask her more about that.

We have the big ideas and overall picture and now need to find the small and practical steps that will bring us there.

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Sim Lumongsud said...

1. Immigrants who have relatives or friends already in Canada and can assist them doesnt struggle hard.

2. Filipino immigrants have difficulty in passing driver license examination and needed some assistance on how to pass the exam.

3. Immigrant need to know the education system in Canada

4. If a stranger would offer help to new immigrants from different culture, the new immigrants would not trust and have hesitation, but if the stranger is of same culture, the immigrant can connect in short time and can make the difference in his or her settlement in Canada.

5. 3 people interviewed (unstructured interview), 2 didnt have much problem to adopt to the new culture, but one was very frustrated. This is not a good population to conclude statistics, but a good start to say, that there are about 35% of new immigrants who are in bad need of some assistance. That translate to about 92,000 new immigrants who need help very badly every year.

6. The departing word of Sharon make my heart grieve. "I hope you will succeed on what you are trying to do, there are many out there that is the same situation as i am".
I plan to go back to Sharon, but during that time, i will be wearing a different hat. My departing word to Sharon, i cant give you a fish because i dont have much, but i can teach you how to fish, and i can point the arrow to the right direction, and there is hope, an endless hope in God. I saw the smile of Sharon and she said, "that is all i need from you".

I would like to suggest that we are going to divide our group and have some focus area for each group. To structure the group, let us form SMT(Self Manage Team), and assign SGA(Small Group Activity)

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Blogmaster said...


That's crazy that your mom should immigrate here twice?! I should like to ask your father what were his initial difficulties with his settling in. Were you born here?

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Vaxevanis said...

I'll ask my parents about their immigration challenges the next time I talk to them. I was born in New Brunswick.

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

Thanks Bill! I appreciate the effort.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger ruth said...

I came as an immigrant in 1989 with Master in English. Today, I am still having trouble finding a decent job. If it weren't for my faith in God, I would definitely have been shattered. I would love to partner with you and see how we can help smooth those real challenges for immigrants and make this country their second home.

At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


can you all be of assistance to a christian new and landed immigrant like myself ? i do not know how forum or blog works. i couldn't find an email address to write to the blogmeister after looking around.



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