Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween from CIES

Halloween is a very special to many staff and students at CIES. Today, several of the classes had spooktacular activities or holiday-themed events, and the Care for Newcomer Children team took their costumed kids upstairs for some in-house trick or treating, escorting them from classroom to classroom to collect candy.

Even though Halloween ends at the stroke of midnight tonight, there are still several activities in Calgary to check out if you're still eager to feel a shiver up your spine. The Deane House (located at Fort Calgary) is one of Calgary's most notorious haunted buildings, and The Prince House (located at Heritage Park) has been the spot of ghost sightings for years.

For a list of other strange or scary places, be sure to check out Global News' Virtual Ghost Tour for 10 frightening haunts.

Whatever you choose to do tonight, we wish you a safe and Happy Halloween from all of us here at CIES!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Heads Up: What IS our Empowering Syrian Refugees Program?

Things might be starting to get cold outside, but CIES' Empowering Syrian Refugees (ESR) program is just heating up! So what is it, exactly? Well, it's an answer to these few questions:

ü  Are you new to Calgary?
ü  Are you looking for information about resources in the city?
ü  Are you in need of help making informed decisions about your life in your new community?
ü  Are you struggling to find a meaningful place in Calgary?
ü  Are you looking for an advice and mentorship from a more established Calgarian?

ü  Are you looking for information about career opportunities in Canada?

The Empowering Syrian Refugee program is a City of Calgary-funded initiative designed to equip Syrian Refugee clients of CIES with the knowledge needed to smoothly transition into a productive and fulfilling life in Calgary.  Through this program, newly arrived refugees will obtain the ability to find ways to cope with challenges and barriers associated with relocating to a new culture. Two life skills workshops constituting the first component of the ESR program are thus offered during the last week of every month in the following areas:

Navigating Resources – an introduction to locally accessible organizations, institutions and agencies that offer resources regarding financial planning, health care, education, legal advice, community services, day to day activities and immigrant serving agencies.

Self-Assessment and Decision-Making – this workshop focuses on effective decision making processes using the resources discussed in the first workshop that will facilitate the transition to a new community and culture. 

Overall, the sessions are intended to provide key information that will help them to make sound decisions based on their unique needs. Each presentation lasts 3 hours and includes Arabic interpretation for participants who have limited English language ability.

One-on-one consultations - The second component of the ESR program involves one-on-one consultations with a more established Calgarian who can provide advice on how to better settle into the city and begin pursuing life goals. Clients attending the in-class sessions will schedule appointments with available advisers during the week. The volunteers will be providing clients with at least one hour-long session (follow-up sessions are optional) on resource information and support services in Calgary. They can refer the clients to specialized service providers for specific needs, and generally provide guidance on how to look for a job, where to find courses, medical services, financial services, schools, training etc. depending on a client’s particular needs. This will help newcomer refugees at CIES make sound decisions with enough information, enabling them to focus on pursuing positive changes in their lives.

So what next? Stop on by our next event:


Workshop 1: October 24, 2016 @ 9am - ‘Navigating Resources’
Workshop 2: October 26, 2016 @ 9am – ‘Decision Making’
CIES Welcome Centre
3820-32 st. NE Calgary

Phone: 403-291-0002

Still have questions? Concerns? Contact us at our Northeast location at 403-291-0002.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Today is Make The Month Day - Can you?

Make the Month is an interactive digital poverty simulation that enables Canadians to experience living in poverty and face decisions that will either make or break the month. This interactive experience shows Canadians the realities of surviving day-to-day, paycheque-to-paycheque and the impact that has on your overall well-being.

Make the Month was originally launched in November 2014 in Calgary thanks to collaboration between Imperial, Park Digital and United Way of Calgary and Area.

In 2015, 12 United Ways from across Canada partnered to create a digital poverty simulation for all Canadians. This new, updated simulation enables people from across Canada to experience the challenges and decisions low-income Canadians must make every day in order to make it through one month.

If you have any questions about the data used in Make the Month, please contact your local United Way.