New Canadians Centre Peterborough Executive Director Hajni Hos Leaving To Take On Same Role At Hospice Peterborough

Hajni Hos is stepping down as the Executive Director of the New Canadians Centre Peterborough to take on the role as the new Executive Director of Hospice Peterborough.

Hos began her employment with the New Canadians Centre (NCC) as Employment Counsellor in 2008 and became the Coordinator of the Peterborough Immigration Partnership (formerly Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration) in 2009. She took on the leadership role of Executive Director in January 2011. During her leadership, the NCC grew in size and complexity.

Photo of HOS WITH HER NCC TEAM by Heather Doughty, Inspire: The Women's Portrait Project

Photo of HOS WITH HER NCC TEAM by Heather Doughty, Inspire: The Women's Portrait Project

Many programs and services were added so that the NCC could better meet the language, educational, employment and settlement needs of new Canadians. Last year, a team of 27 staff served close to 700 new clients from 103 countries.

Programs such as the Workplace Integration Program and Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) were put in place. Her successful Ontario Trillium Foundation and Citizenship and Immigration Canada grants enabled the NCC to complete the 2013 renovation and move to their current premises at St. James United Church.

Hos at One Roof Community Diner with Team NCC making a lunch

Hos at One Roof Community Diner with Team NCC making a lunch

In 2016, Hos was instrumental in facilitating the approval of Peterborough as a Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) Centre by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada—one of a few small cities to receive this honour.

This resulted in the resettlement of 200 government-assisted refugees in 2016-2017 (and almost 400 to date). This initiative has been met with resounding community support, starting first with 400+ community members attending an information session in 2016 to find out how they could assist with resettlement by forming volunteer support teams. This model of support originated right here in Peterborough, and was duplicated nationwide successfully.

Hos at One Night in the Philippines annual fundraising gala for the New Canadians Centre, 2018

Hos at One Night in the Philippines annual fundraising gala for the New Canadians Centre, 2018

“Her passion, warmth and enthusiasm inspire us to achieve better things for our clients and community,” says Faye Shien Tan, who has been working at the NCC since 2010. “As a newcomer herself, she is a wonderful role model for what we can achieve through hard work and collaboration,” adds Olga Stetsyuk, Employment Counsellor.

While her journey of immigrating to and settling in Canada from Hungary in 2007—she was a lawyer in Budapest—has motivated her work at the New Canadians Centre for the past 12 years, Hos is drawn to give back to her community by focusing her energies on supporting families facing life-threatening illness or grief with Hospice Peterborough. She will be replacing Linda Sunderland, who is retiring after 26 years of dedicated service with Hospice.

Hos’s awards over the years include the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce “4 Under 40” Business Excellence Award, the Paul Harris Fellowship from the Rotary Club of Peterborough Kawartha and the Peterborough-Kawartha Women’s Leadership Award.

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100 Women Peterborough Raises Nearly $50,000 In First Year Of Existence

The 100 Women Peterborough group announced at their final meeting of 2018 that they raised more than $13,000 for New Canadians Centre in under an hour, bring their total raised for organizations to nearly $50,000 for their first year.

The contribution from 100 Women Peterborough will help to fund the New Canadians Centre Youth Group at NCC, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to supporting immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers to become full and equal members of Canadian society.

Photo courtesy 100 Women Peterborough

Photo courtesy 100 Women Peterborough

"Students from all of the high schools in Peterborough participate in the New Canadians Centre Youth Group,” says Yvonne Lai, Director of Community Development.

“It's a unique space where local students and newcomers come together to support one another academically, share experiences, connect and grow. This generous donation of $13,000 from 100 Women Peterborough not only helps to close the gap on the funding cut to this program, it's a powerful endorsement from our community that integrating our local and newcomer youth is vital for the continued growth and vibrancy of our community."

Cheque presented to Carol Lawless (middle) from New Canadians Centre

Cheque presented to Carol Lawless (middle) from New Canadians Centre

HOW 100 WOMEN PETERBOROUGH WORKS

-> Members commit to donate $100 at each of the four events hosted throughout the year. The aim is to help women learn about the multitude of different causes in the community, help people in need, and join other like-minded women to empower and multiply the impact of their contributions.

-> 100% of the funds raised by the membership will be donated to four non-profit organizations determined by the membership throughout the year.

-> In their first year, 100 Women Peterborough has managed to increase their membership to well over the original goal of 100 members that contribute to different organizations on a quarterly basis.

-> The collective donations throughout the first year were able to impact four organizations chosen (Hospice Peterborough, Youth Unlimited, Warming Room Community Ministries and New Canadians Centre) significantly, with close to $50,000 donated.

-> Women that are interested in joining the group are encouraged to reach out via the website here.

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United Way Youth Ambassador Faith Dickinson Presents Cuddle Blankets To Women At New Canadians Centre

Faith Dickinson believes gratitude can transcend language and cultural barriers.

She would know.

At just 15 years of age, the Lakefield, Ont., teen has been heralded throughout the world for providing warmth and care to cancer patients with her hand-made “Cuddles for Cancer” blankets.

Faith Dickinson with her plaid fleece cuddle blankets at NCC

Faith Dickinson with her plaid fleece cuddle blankets at NCC

Just a few months ago, the Grade 10 Thomas A. Stewart student was presented the inaugural Diana Award at St. James Palace in London by both Princes Harry and William. Faith was among 20 youth to receive the prestigious award founded on the late Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world.

Having sewn more than 3,500 fleece blankets that have been sent all across Canada, the United States, France, England and Australia, Faith has also created a signature blanket for soldiers overseas and those suffering from injuries or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many of these blankets have been sent to Afghanistan and Kuwait.

Left to right:  Hend Altech, United Way Youth Ambassador Faith Dickinson, United Way Chair Neil Morton, Malaka Tonbakj, Abir Al Hattab and Sabah Alhamwi  Extending warmth and comfort to newcomer women from Syria, Cuddles for Cancer and United Way Youth Ambassador Faith Dickinson demonstrates the power of community

Left to right: Hend Altech, United Way Youth Ambassador Faith Dickinson, United Way Chair Neil Morton, Malaka Tonbakj, Abir Al Hattab and Sabah Alhamwi

Extending warmth and comfort to newcomer women from Syria, Cuddles for Cancer and United Way Youth Ambassador Faith Dickinson demonstrates the power of community

Faith—who is Youth Ambassador (a newly-created role) for the 76th Annual United Way of Peterborough Campaign—recently presented four of her cuddle blankets to clients of the New Canadians Centre (NCC).

“I’m a bit nervous meeting these women,” Faith explains, unfolding the blankets—two of which were made of plaid fleece. “My mom and I thought it would be fun to highlight the campaign theme which is anything and everything plaid.”

Abir Al Hattab receives a fleece "cuddle" blanket from United Way Youth Ambassador, Faith Dickinson

Abir Al Hattab receives a fleece "cuddle" blanket from United Way Youth Ambassador, Faith Dickinson

Initiated by Campaign Chair Neil Morton (co-founder of PTBOCanada.com), the plaid thread is running throughout the United Way of Peterborough campaign, including the launch on Tuesday, September 19th where most of the capacity crowd dressed in the fabric at the Evinrude Centre.

A partner agency that receives funding from the United Way, the NCC is a federally-designated welcome centre for Syrian refugees. To date, close to 350 Syrians have arrived in Peterborough, more than half of this number being children.

Faith and Hend Altech share a hug.

Faith and Hend Altech share a hug.

 “I don’t speak Arabic,” Faith explains quietly, smiling at the four women who have gathered in the main space at the NCC. In addition to having fled their war-torn homeland, these four women—Hend Altech, Malaka Tonbakj, Abir Al Hattab and Sabah Alhamwi—face their own personal struggles with cancer, scleroderma, disability as well as the loneliness and feelings of despair associated with starting over in a new country where you don’t know anyone, or speak the language.

“I want these women to feel comfort and support and welcomed by myself and our community," says Faith. "I want them to know we understand what a struggle it’s been to get here to build a life for themselves and their families. I hope by presenting them with the blankets, it will convey what I want to say.”

Faith presents plaid cuddle blanket to Malaka Tonbakj.

Faith presents plaid cuddle blanket to Malaka Tonbakj.

And it did. Despite language barriers, Faith’s welcoming message of love and support was received—loud and clear. “When I handed them their blankets, they put their hands over their hearts as if to say thank you,” she says. A powerful expression of gratitude transcending language and cultural barriers, the warmth and comfort extended to these women was felt by everyone present.

“It was very moving both for myself and my Mom and Dad,” adds Faith. “One of the women, Hend, wanted to have her picture taken with me to send to her family who are still living in Syria. She kept nodding and smiling at me. And then she called me habibti (an Arabic term of affection) and we all started laughing and calling one another habibti. It was a lot of fun. I won’t forget it.”

—guest post by Carol Lawless

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PTBOCanada Featured Post: Syrian Women In Peterborough Say Thank You With Hand-Sewn Canadian Flags

PTBOCanada Featured Post: Syrian Women In Peterborough Say Thank You With Hand-Sewn Canadian Flags

Sponsored post by New Canadian Centre

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Newcomers To Peterborough Community Try Curling For The First Time

The Peterborough Curling Club generously donated its ice on Saturday (March 11th) for a Curling Day so newcomers could try their hand at this Canadian winter sport. About 40 newcomers participated in the event, which was a collaboration between the New Canadians Centre and Peterborough Curling Club.

About 10 volunteers from Peterborough Curling Club provided curling instructions and equipment for the new curling learners.

Photo via New Canadians Centre Facebook page

Photo via New Canadians Centre Facebook page

“The objective is to welcome newcomers to the community and introduce them to a very popular Canadian winter sport,” says Ken Featherstone of Peterborough Curling Club. “Newcomers can meet and socialize with other newcomers while learning a part of Canadian sports culture.”

Photo via New Canadians Centre Facebook page

Photo via New Canadians Centre Facebook page

Photo via New Canadians Centre Facebook page

Photo via New Canadians Centre Facebook page

“Some newcomers, especially if they do not speak English, can feel isolated,” says Anne Elliott, Community Coordinator at the New Canadians Centre. “The New Canadians Centre offers different opportunities and services to connect newcomers to the community and feel welcomed and at home. The curling day is ideal because it is Canadian, active and fun.”

Photo via New Canadians Centre Facebook page

Photo via New Canadians Centre Facebook page

To learn more about the New Canadians Centre, visit their website.

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This Inspiring Wall Of Hope In Peterborough Shows Kindness To New Refugees

Hundreds of hand-written messages from students, teachers and other community members have been installed on the New Canadians Centre’s Wall of Hope to welcome refugees.

The Wall of Hope at New Canadians Centre in Peterborough

The Wall of Hope at New Canadians Centre in Peterborough

For people who feel powerless in the face of what is happening in the world today, a few words of kindness can mean a great deal.

One child who came here 7 years ago as a New Canadian wrote this powerful message...

Here are some of the other messages written to newcomers (and yes, it will get warm here eventually)...

You can view more messages on the Wall of Hope here.

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New Canadians Centre Peterborough Reaches Out To Community To Help Syrian Refugee Families

New Canadians Centre Peterborough Reaches Out To Community To Help Syrian Refugee Families

Donate ->>> here

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Refugee Sponsorship Workshop At New Canadians Centre In Peterborough September 10th

Wondering how to respond to the Syrian crisis? The New Canadians Centre is hosting a special Refugee Sponsorship Workshop this Thursday, September 10th.

The New Canadians Centre has received many inquiries from members of the Peterborough community expressing concern at the ongoing crisis in Syria and wondering how they can help. Many of these inquiries focused on how to sponsor a refugee family to come to Canada.

In response to these inquires, the New Canadians Centre will be hosting this refugee sponsorship workshop on Thursday, September 10th at 7 pm at the New Canadians Centre in Peterborough (221 Romaine St.). Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP the Centre by calling 705.743.0882 or emailing info@nccpeterborough.ca.

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LOOK: Awesome Community Photo Project From Courage Peterborough & New Canadians Centre

LOOK: Awesome Community Photo Project From Courage Peterborough & New Canadians Centre

Very cool!

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Recap: Peterborough Family Literacy Day

Trent Valley Literacy Association, Literacy Ontario Central South and Peterborough Family Resource Centre worked together to celebrate Family Literacy Day recently at Peterborough Square.

Free books were donated by Frontier College for all ages to encourage reading and literacy.

Booths were set up from many local businesses such as Music for Moppets, Healthy Families Centre, Catholic District School Board and Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board.

[Words and Picture by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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