CALGARY CHINESE
COMMUNITY SERVICE ASSOCIATION
Integration & Civic Engagement

The Integration and Civic Engagement program stream offers a holistic range of services to Chinese-speaking immigrants in Calgary. The programs in this stream are designed to reduce barriers and promote an inclusive and supportive society where members in the Chinese-speaking community have full and equitable access to and participation in Canadian society. CCCSA services are solution-focused and empowerment-based to support Chinese-speaking immigrants to successfully integrate socially, culturally, and economically within Calgary.

CCCSA Integration and Civic Engagement programs are designed to reduce social isolation and provide support to marginalized immigrants and their families experiencing barriers to integration. These services facilitate individual and community integration and civic participation through services that bridge Chinese-speaking immigrants to broader society.

Objectives:

Ø  Equipping community members with knowledge and skills, awareness of services and procedures so as to increase self-confidence and independence

Ø  Building positive social ties and networks

Ø  Increasing community participation and empowering them to become more involved in their community and the broader society.  (Integration and Civic Engagement)

Program Rationale

The Integration and Civic Engagement program stream offers a holistic range of services to Chinese-speaking immigrants in Calgary. The programs and services in this stream are designed to reduce barriers and promote an inclusive and supportive society where members in the Chinese-speaking community have full and equitable access to and participation in Canadian society. CCCSA services are solution-focused and empowerment-based to support Chinese-speaking immigrants to successfully integrate socially, culturally, and economically within Calgary.

Although there is more than one way to conceptualize settlement and immigration services, CCCSA Integration and Civic Engagement programs are aligned with the following four key service objective areas established by the Canadian Council for Refugees Best Settlement Practices for Refugees and Immigrants in Canada (1998):

Service Objectives

CCCSA Specific Services

Services to help immigrants develop the skills and knowledge to participate in society

·         Information and referrals

·         Educational seminars

·         Support groups

Services to bridge between immigrants and Canadian society

·         Advocacy and one to one support

·         Translation and interpretation

·         Volunteer programs

·         Cultural integration programs

General services specialized for immigrants

·         Parenting education

·         Parent support

·         Family legal support

Services to help the host community in its process of adaptation to immigrants

·         Assist mainstream service providers to understand and meet the needs of Chinese-speaking immigrants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New immigrants require a range of assets and capabilities to increase their security and integration in a new society. Immigrants can be extremely limited in their choices, both by lack of assets and by their inability to negotiate with formal and informal institutions for their needs due to language and cultural barriers. Although strategies may vary, interventions for immigrants should be engrained in the principles of empowerment (Jimeno 2010, CCR 1998). Empowerment theory states that empowerment can be viewed as both a process of transformation and as an outcome (change in status). The core of empowerment lies in the ability of an individual’s ability to control their own destiny with the power to meet their physical, psycho-emotional, and psychosocial needs. Bandura (1997) defines personal empowerment as being associated with personal freedom, self-determination, perceived competence, self-esteem, and self–efficacy. These enhanced social and self-advocacy skills are essential for immigrants to achieve their integration goals such as making friends, finding employment, furthering their education, and securing legal rights.

CCCSA Integration and Civic Engagement programs are aimed at reducing social isolation and facilitating integration for Chinese-speaking immigrants through opportunities to build social capital and bridging to mainstream society.  Social capital has been identified as an important element for the integration, inclusion, and participation of new immigrants into Canadian society (Cooper 2009, Lui & Rollock 2011, Xue 2008, Kunz 2005). Social capital refers to the connections between individuals, particularly social networks that provide reciprocity and benefits between group members (Jimeno 2010). Two types of social capital have been identified as essential to the integraton process: bonding capital and bridging capital. Bonding capital occurs within the same homogeneous groups while bridging capital encompasses the connections between heterogenous groups (Van Craen 2008). Bonding capital is important for enhancing feelings of support and belonging as well as mitigating the stress and isolation many immigrants experience within a new culture (Jimeno 2010, Van Craen 2008). Bridging capital has been shown to impact immigrants’ sense of identity with the host country as well as enhance positive perceptions of the host culture (Jimeno 2010). It is important to note that in terms of overall social-cultural integration, bridging capital has been found to have a positive effect while bonding capital has no direct effect (Van Craen 2008). Ethnically diversified social networks increase the probability of employment and are especially important for female immigrants (Xue 2008). 

Integration & Civic Engagement Programs & Services

CCCSA provides services in eight key areas to meet the unique needs of Chinese-speaking immigrants and their families:

1.       One to One Support and Advocacy

2.       Employment Connection Services

3.       Interpretation & Translation Services

4.       Legal Services

5.       Volunteer Services

6.       Family Services

7.       Social Support & Networking Services

8.       Community Development Services

In addition to these direct services, CCCSA collaborates with other community agencies to provide connection to the following resources and services:

Ø  Education

Ø  Employment

Ø  Citizenship services

Ø  Financial services

Ø  Literacy and ESL

Ø  Physical and mental health

1406 Centre St NE, Calgary
403-265-8446
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