A multicultural association launches an IT program for newcomers and people in need

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Newcomers and people in need in the Stratford area can now access computer and printing services while learning complementary skills through the Multicultural Association of Perth Huron.

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Association staff and volunteers on Wednesday unveiled four new computers and a printer purchased with federal funding under the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative that can now be used by 10 a.m. appointment at 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.

In addition to the computers, the association is also hiring a social worker who, with the help of the association’s translators and settlement worker, will be on hand to teach newcomers the computer skills needed to complete the paperwork. immigration, apply for citizenship, write resumes, apply for jobs and access social benefits.

“Computers are for people who need the internet to search for community services and jobs,” said the association’s founder, Dr. Gezaghn Wordofa.

Although there are public computers available at various locations around town, including the Stratford Public Library, Wordofa said many newcomers, especially those who don’t speak English, feel intimidated by the prospect of ask to use a computer in a public space, while others simply don’t have the skills to access the necessary online information and resources.]By providing hands-on computer training to newcomers in their own language, Wordofa said the program will provide the skills they need to access required online services from their personal computers. . These skills will also help them connect with their new community by giving them access to local news and information about upcoming events and the ability to meet other area residents through social media.]is very important because people… can meet other people who have come to Canada. before them,” said Jama Botan, a multicultural association volunteer who moved to Canada from Somalia in 1996. “They see people like them who can speak the same language and they can get community help. I think it’s very important for them to feel part of the community.

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Loreena McKennitt, owner of the Falstaff Family Center in Stratford, where the multicultural association’s Stratford office is located, described the program, along with its equipment and resources, as “an essential part for people to go from before “.

“There are a lot of elements to helping people realize the potential they have, so I’m delighted that Geza and (the association’s board and volunteers) were able to put this together,” said said McKennitt.

Under current pandemic restrictions, appointments are made for one person at a time, while anyone wishing to use a computer at the Falstaff Family Center must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

For more information and to make an appointment, call the Perth Huron Multicultural Association hotline at 226-339-1547.

Gordon K. Morehouse