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Overview of the Somali Immigrant Aid Organization (SIAO)

Question: 

Discuss about the Somali Immigrants Social Help for HIV Awareness.

The essay is an in depth study of the immigrant aid organization in Ontario Canada, the Somali Immigrant Aid Organization (SIAO). This organization works for the education, training, and relocation of the immigrants from various countries (Bermeo & Leblang, 2015). The organization helps the immigrants by preparing them to live in the Canadian society without any issues and be an asset to the country. The organization focuses on a number of issues from children education to HIV awareness programs. These programs help the immigrants understand the Canadian society and their roles in it. It also aids in educating children and adults in their education and development of alternative skills so that they can help in the development of the society (White, Bilodeau & Nevitte 2015).

The essay assesses the different programs of the organization with their working procedures. The different details of the agency along with its working, organizational goals, financial sources and partner organizations are studied. The different programs are studied with special emphasis on two of them, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and Program Without Walls (PWW), which is a health and nutrition programs for the immigrants to keep a check on their health and help in health improvements.

The SIAO is a Toronto based organization helping the immigrants who come to Canada for relocation and helping them to adapt themselves according to the country helping them with education and training programs. SIAO stands for Somali Immigrant Aid Organization and is located at 1778 Weston Rd. Suite 105, Toronto, Ontario, M9M 1V8 ("Somali Immigrant Aid Organization", 2017). The contact details of the organization include:

Phone: (416) 243-1988

Fax: (416) 243-2903

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.siao.ca

The SIAO works for the development and the proper initiation of the immigrants to the Canadian society. The mission statement of the company says that the organization works towards the education, training, healthcare, housing and economic needs of the Somali Canadians ("Somali Immigrant Aid Organization", 2017). They also help the immigrants coming from other countries through their integration program. They have strict anti-discrimination policies while giving the relief services to the immigrants. The organization works towards the immigrants coming from a variety of countries. The different people coming from different countries needed different types of training and initiation in the organization to be a fit in the new country (Reitz, Curtis, & Elrick, 2014). There are different programs offered by the organization like Community Development & Community economics Development programs, Health and Community Programs (PWW, HIV/AIDS), Translation/interpretation service, Pre-Employment Development and Employment Workshops, Youth Opportunities program, Language Instructions for Newcomers (LINC) Program, Information on Immigration, and Housing, Family Support programs. The agency has a hierarchical structure with Mr. Mohamed Nur as the Chairman and other posts like Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Board Members. Apart from the board members, the organization has a number of staff members.

Partnerships and Funding Sources


The organization works in partnership with organizations like Midyanta, YMCA Toronto and Dejinta Beesha to provide education, training and housing support to the immigrants to Canada. The government ministries and corporations also support the working of the organization by helping the organization in providing home and support in education to the people. The commitment of the organization along with the government support helps in proper support to the people coming from various backgrounds. The different programs run by the organization have different funding sources like the LINC is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada; PWW is funded by Community Action Program for Children (CAPC). Other funders and supporters include Child-minding Monitoring, Advisory & Support (CMAS), Ontario Trillium Foundation, Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, Toronto Dominion Bank, York Community Services and the City of Toronto (Evans & Shields, 2014). The organization takes into account the social responsibility of preparing the immigrants to go into the Canadian population, they have taken into account the importance of people to better reciprocate to the programs. The organizations takes special care that the aid and the help provided is not biased and is equally given to any immigrant to Canada seeking refuge and help. There is no discrimination based on any context.

The organization runs a number of programs to support and help immigrants to get a foothold in the Canadian society. The programs that are worth mentioning in the growth and development of the organization are Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and Program Without Walls (PWW). These programs seek to provide free education and healthcare to the immigrants to improve their condition and standard of living. These programs aim to improve the conditions of the immigrants in the country by providing education to children and adults so that they understand and adapt well in the society. The health care programs seek to provide support in their healthcare according to Canadian healthcare standards.


The LINC programs as the name suggest aims to educate the immigrants in language to help them in better communication in the country (Mukhtar, et al., 2016). The Citizenship and Immigration Canada aid the program (Knowles, 2016).  The program includes the training of language and opportunities to find proper place in the Canadian way of life. Apart from the language training, the LINC program helps the immigrants with immigration procedures, settlement, housing and counseling to help them adapt in the Canadian society. The program provides classes to the Ministerial Permit Holder, individuals who are recognized as conventional refugees and permanent residents of the country (Olsen, et al., 2016). The classes run in different levels from Level 1-5 and aims to build day-to-day English along with the information on Canadian systems and services to the newcomers and improve their computer skills (Ahmed & Veronis, 2017).

Evaluation of Programs Offered by SIAO

The organization also provides child minding and preschool programs to the children of the people enrolled in the LINC program. They provide standard childcare according to the Child-minding Monitoring, Advisory & Support (CMAS) standards in Canada (Hadfield, Ostrowski & Unger, 2017). The preschool and the school readiness programs given to the children helps in the imparting of English knowledge and the schooling habits to the children whose parents are enrolled in the program and these skills help the children by helping them fit into the Canadian schooling standards for their proper development. The staff of the LINC program is trained with the help of different a number of seminars and workshops around the country.

The students who participate in the program come from a variety of background from a number of countries from Asia and Africa. The majority of the population is women, children, and senior immigrant population of the country. The organization aims to train the volunteers to upgrade their skill for the optimum success of the LINC program.

The Program Without Walls (PWW) is a healthcare and nutrition program for the immigrants, which come from a lower income background, helps them to have access to proper healthcare and nutrition (Sanou, et.al. 2014). The Public Health Agency of Canada funds the program (Chadwick & Collins, 2015). The program targets mothers with children of 0-6 year age group who are newcomers with isolated families and low income. The organization runs a program of training immigrants with low income to buy and prepare nutritious food at a low cost in addition to providing food vouchers to the immigrants (Moffat, Mohammed & Newbold, 2017). The program also conducts seminars on nutrition, hypertension, child obesity and diabetes. This program runs in the old City of York serving all the Somali communities but plans to extend to Sudanese, Arabs, Afghans and Ethiopians. The program also seeks to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among the immigrants and improve the life of the immigrants by preventing them from the disease (Blot, et al., 2017).

The LINC program can be included by providing different alternative courses and early schooling to make them ready. The different levels of education for the different age groups according to the schooling plans of Canada. This would help in the growth and development of the students. The organization should also include sports and cognitive development programs for the children as well as adults (Forde, et al., 2015). This would help people coming from different backgrounds to socialize and interact with people improving their social skills and help in the development the cognitive development programs may include daily activities like chess and other activities like playing various musical instruments and photography. These courses would help in the improvement of the psyche of the immigrants and make them more involved in the program. The children and adolescent coming from violent background facing trouble in learning can get alternative career paths because of these.

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program


The PWW program along with the services it provides should give time-to-time health check up to the population availing its benefits. This would help in analyzing and understanding the lifestyle of the immigrants and the success of the PWW. The time-to-time check-ups would help in improving the health of the immigrant population.

The suggested changes in these two organizations will require different measures to be taken to enforce. The changes in the LINC program would require infrastructure changes and recruitment of new teachers and trainers. These teachers and trainers have to be trained to understand and teach keeping in mind the acceptance of the refugee population. The initiative to improve sports will need more area to play and the raw materials and the equipments. There can be major issues in this as to give proper acceptable education according to Canadian Schooling norms the infrastructure has to be set up and teachers recruited who have the credentials to teach according to the Canadian law. The affiliation to Canadian School Board Association (CSBA) with low number of students and volunteer teachers would be another issue.

The changes in PWW would need help from a number of local hospitals along with a number of doctors who are willing to give voluntary service to the organization. Moreover, the immigrant population needs to be made aware about the service given by the organization and proper sanitation facilities need to be provided to give this facility.

The company should work on the model of helping the trained immigrants and involving them more with the organization. this can be done by providing and finding support for talented young immigrants so that they can succeed in the field they want to pursue. Those participants with an aptitude for teaching can be given assist in getting proper training in teaching and can be absorbed by the organization. This would give the students more interactive atmosphere and provide jobs for the immigrants. On the other hand, the sanitation facilities can be improved by the community sanitation program like one of those followed in Japanese schools. This would help in keeping the organization clean and raise sanitation related awareness among the immigrants.

The inclusion of the students training and adoption program would help by involving the immigrants in a program from which they can learn. The immigrants after becoming teachers would better understand the issues faced by the immigrants in the learning process; since they have faced it themselves or seen their parents face it. This would help them in applying a better approach while training and give better results. The inclusion of sports would help in getting sports scholarships for children and improve their social interaction skills. The inclusion of immigrants in health and sanitation programs would help in the improvement in cleanliness of the environment for the check up that are suggested. Moreover, this would provide a better knowledge to immigrants regarding health and sanitation practices.

Program Without Walls (PWW)

Therefore, the Somali Immigrant Aid Organization is one of the important organizations working for the betterment of the immigrants in Canada. An organization initially to provide relief to Somalian immigrants has now increased their area of operation to serve a number of people from many countries. The various programs help in the education and lifestyle improvement of a number of immigrants through their programs. The programs focus on education healthcare and HIV/AIDS awareness among immigrants. These programs have various areas of improvement as shown and the improvement will not only aid in the better operations of the organization but also help in overall development of educational and healthcare planning for the immigrants. The different programs change and evolve with time to provide better support to the aimed population.

References

Ahmed, R., & Veronis, L. (2017). Multicultural media use and immigrant settlement: A comparative study of four communities in Ottawa, Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 18(2), 587-612.

Bermeo, S. B., & Leblang, D. (2015). Migration and foreign aid. International Organization, 69(3), 627-657.

Blot, S., Bauer, G., Fraser, M., Nleya, M., & Wadham, M. (2017). AIDS Service Organization Access Among African, Caribbean and Other Black Residents of an Average Canadian City. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 19(4), 851-860.

Chadwick, K. A., & Collins, P. A. (2015). Examining the relationship between social support availability, urban center size, and self-perceived mental health of recent immigrants to Canada: A mixed-methods analysis. Social Science & Medicine, 128, 220-230.

Evans, B., & Shields, J. (2014). Nonprofit engagement with provincial policy officials: The case of NGO policy voice in Canadian immigrant settlement services. Policy and Society, 33(2), 117-127.

Forde, S. D., Lee, D. S., Mills, C., & Frisby, W. (2015). Moving towards social inclusion: Manager and staff perspectives on an award winning community sport and recreation program for immigrants. Sport management review, 18(1), 126-138.

Hadfield, K., Ostrowski, A., & Ungar, M. (2017). What can we expect of the mental health and well-being of Syrian refugee children and adolescents in Canada?. Canadian Psychology/psychologie canadienne, 58(2), 194.

Knowles, V., 2016. Strangers at Our Gates: Canadian Immigration and Immigration Policy, 1540–2015. Dundurn.

Moffat, T., Mohammed, C., & Newbold, K. B. (2017). Cultural Dimensions of Food Insecurity among Immigrants and Refugees. Human Organization, 76(1), 15-27.

Mukhtar, M., Dean, J., Wilson, K., Ghassemi, E., & Wilson, D. H. (2016). “But Many of These Problems are About Funds…”: The Challenges Immigrant Settlement Agencies (ISAs) Encounter in a Suburban Setting in Ontario, Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 17(2), 389-408.

Olsen, C., El-Bialy, R., Mckelvie, M., Rauman, P., & Brunger, F. (2016). “Other” Troubles: Deconstructing perceptions and changing responses to refugees in Canada. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 18(1), 58-66.

Reitz, J. G., Curtis, J., & Elrick, J. (2014). Immigrant skill utilization: Trends and policy issues. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 15(1), 1-26.

Sanou, D., O’Reilly, E., Ngnie-Teta, I., Batal, M., Mondain, N., Andrew, C., ... & Bourgeault, I. L. (2014). Acculturation and nutritional health of immigrants in Canada: a scoping review. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 16(1), 24-34.

Somali Immigrant Aid Organization. (2017). Siao.ca. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://siao.ca/index.php?view=about

Somali Immigrant Aid Organization. (2017). Siao.ca. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://siao.ca/index.php?view=contact

White, S., Bilodeau, A., & Nevitte, N. (2015). Earning their support: feelings towards Canada among recent immigrants. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(2), 292-308.

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