Newcomers Information Fair & Clothing Drive held in Toronto

NEWCOMERS IN TORONTO WELCOMED TO CANADA DURING FAMILY DAY WEEKEND North York, Ontario - February 16, 2020 As immigrants continue playing a key role in making Canada strong and prosperous, most Kenyan Canadians and Friends of Kenya in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are celebrating this Family Day weekend by welcoming the recently arrived Newcomers to Canada.

In this effort the Newcomers Family Day and Clothing Drive event was held at Domenico Diluca Community Centre in North York, with the support of Kenyan Consulate in Toronto, organized by Kenyan Canadian Association (KCA), a federal not-for-profit that focuses on implementing programs and offering services to newcomers and low-income families.

The event was attended by over 70 refugees and landed immigrants those from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. Among them were 10 families with children. There has been an influx of newcomers to Ontario. This underscores the province’s strong cultural diversity which enriches its social and economic lives and enhancing creativity, innovation and connection to global networks.

The inaugural clothing drive was highly successful with very generous support coming from Kenyan Community and Friends of Kenya from across the GTA which included gift cards which were issued to families with children.

Some of the invited guests included the Humber River-Black Creek Member of Parliament Hon. Judy Sgro whose donation to the clothing drive and goodwill message was delivered by her Constituency Assistant Mr. Mitchell Zarycki. In her message, she noted that the federal government believes that newcomers play a vital role in the Canadian society and she will continue to strongly support initiatives that will facilitate smooth integration of new immigrants in the society. Various community and professional leaders delivered their speeches during the intensive newcomers information session and clothing drive.

The speakers were KCA Directors Mr. Ephraim Mwaura (President), Mrs. Catherine Matimu (Newcomers Settlement), Mr. Raphael Fernandes (Sports & Recreation), and Dr. Charles Muchai Wambulwa (Health). Guest speakers included Tumaini Nurses International President & KCA Toronto Regional Chair Ms. Rosemary Wanjau, KCA Newcomers Settlement Committee Member Dr. John Nderi, Immediate former President of Mississauga-Cooksville Lions Club Mrs. Phoebe Kagumba-Sibanda, Fitashe Grocery Store CEO Mrs. Betty Marete, Kutchi Cultural Association Of Canada President Mr. Farhan Kever, a Mississauga-based Immigration Lawyer Mr. Joshua Makori, Rev. Sue Karanja and Dr. Edith Wambayi. In his speech KCA President Mr. Ephraim Mwaura noted that a Newcomers Fair 2020 will be held in Brampton, Ontario on August 29 and will bring together key stakeholders from across GTA that will help address issues of concern to refugees, landed immigrants and students including how to obtain essential Government Documents and Benefits, Immigration and Citizenship, Employment & Work Permits, Education and Training, Foreign Credential Assessment, English and French Language Classes, Health, Housing, Legal and Social Services, Consumer Information, Personal Finance and Income Tax as well as Shelter, Food and Clothing.

The groundbreaking Newcomers Family Day event was supported by various organizations including YWCA, ROAR Organic Canada, Heart Lake Run, ClimateFest Brampton, Kutchi Cultural Association Of Canada and Fitashe Grocery Store. Family Day is a day to celebrate the importance of families and family life to people and their communities. This holiday is observed in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick on the third Monday of February.