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 Fall Newsletter 2018


This Edition Presents...

Current Programs:
- Healthy Living Programs
 - Mental Health Programs
               - Free Counselling Services
- Working with HEAL Network
 - Drop- in Sessions
Fundraiser Game Night for the United Way

A game and movie night was held at MIAG on November 17th to donate proceeds to the United Way of Greater Toronto. The fun filled evening started at 5:00pm with karaoke. Later on there was a movie for the family and games galore! There was the all-time favourite; henna painting and bingo as well as door raffle draws. Prizes and delicious food were generously donated by staff, volunteers and students as indeed the entire event were managed through the team efforts. The event wrapped up with more karaoke and great interaction by everyone who encouraged an encore. Yes, there will be another Game and Movie Night in 2019!

We take this opportunity to thank everyone for their generous support and presence at our fundraiser.
MIAG's Annual General Meeting 2018

              MIAG's Board of Directors                                                                     MIAG's Staff and Volunteers

This year MIAG's Annual General Meeting and Achievement Celebration for the Building Bridges program took place back to back on Thursday, September 20th, 2018 at Burnhamthorpe Library from 5:00pm - 8:00pm. It was a great turn out of guests who attended in this event. There was a good combination of participants with service providers, funders, board members, program participants, students and volunteers. After the Annual General Meeting, the audience was entertained by the Building Bridges Celebration ceremony. The ceremony consisted of multiple fun activities such as a dance performance by Dazzling Seniors participants, successful stories and testimonials by the Building Bridges Program participants. Lastly, the celebration concluded with participants receiving their certificates, taking pictures and eating cake while saying goodbye to each other. Overall, it was a great event to remember!

Parenting for Success - New Project
We are pleased to announce the launch of "Parenting for Success" project. This project offers parenting skills enhancement for Syrian newcomer parents, paralleled with a learning program for their children. This program will guide parents on how to raise successful children in Canada and how to overcome challenges that they may face as newcomer parents. It's designed for parents of children aged 6 - 12 years old.

Professional speakers will deliver workshops in Arabic highlighting essential parenting related topics such as Schooling System, Mental Health, Social Awareness, Parenting Styles, the role of CAS and more. Children will receive help in their homework as well as social skills development.

The program will run for 6 weeks/ once a week, and it will be repeated 7 times in different locations. The first round will take place on Fridays, November 9th - December 14th from 5pm - 8pm at MIAG location. Traditional Syrian refreshment will be served.

This project is funded by Ontario Trillium Foundation.

For more information or for registration please contact Seba Jessri, Project Coordinator:  or call at (905) 270-1829.
NewCan Students Rise 

The NewCan Students Rise program aims to provide support and mentorship to newcomer students of Sheridan College. The purpose of this is to better equip them to integrate into Canadian society, build social networks, connect cross cultural and reduce social isolation caused by certain barriers.

In collaboration with Sheridan International Centre, MIAG has implemented this program in an effort to do the following:

- Increase community engagement
- Build friendships and build social networks
- Share experiences
- Connect cross-culturally
- Enhance support systems
- Reduce social isolation

We hope that through this educational, informative yet fun and interactive program, Sheridan students will gain valuable knowledge and skills. This program also hopes to leave students with a sense of belonging within their Sheridan community as well as in Canadian society. This project is funded by the Government of Ontario.

Volunteer and Student's Program
September always marks the start of a new academic year and this year we welcomed eight new practicum students most of whom will be with us until April of 2019. Our student program has recently undergone a few changes which will give them a more rounded practicum experience.  Students participate in many aspects of program planning and delivery and this experience is enhanced by their involvement in multiple programs.  As our student program continues to evolve we are looking to develop a workshop series tailored to them which will help to further prepare them for the workplace.

Through co-operation with the Region of Peel’s internship program we are also seeking to provide added opportunities to support qualified interns for job readiness. Interns participate in our programs much the same way that students do.  Since the spring of this year, we have had the pleasure of having one such intern and we recognize the benefits of providing such opportunities through MIAG.  We are currently exploring how we can increase these opportunities for interested individuals.

Student's Testimonials

I did my placement in Child and Youth Services worker at MIAG. The placement was a great experience for me where I have been able to grow, expand my knowledge and gained enormous admiration for the wonderful team (staff members and volunteers) I have had a pleasure of working with. I had the opportunity to participate and assist in many programs that were offered by the staff. I enjoyed helping the participants. I also had the chance to attend the training workshop "Mental Health First Aid Basic" which was very informative and educative in my field.
 ~Samantha Nzisabira - Placement Student

I have been volunteering with MIAG for six months and I have enjoyed my time here thus far. Volunteering at MIAG has given me the opportunity to explore various interests in programming offered to vulnerable members of the community. I have been able to utilize my existing skills and develop some new ones that align with my areas of interest. So far, I have delivered a workshop to one of our current programs, I created a front desk manual for volunteers to refer to when they have reception duties, and I have assisted in the recruitment and screening of  volunteers. My work at MIAG has helped build my confidence in my skills and has also exposed me to the current needs of the community at large.
~Nissa Francisco – Volunteer since March 2018
Dazzling Seniors - Active Living Initiative

The Dazzling seniors Project was designed for seniors from visible minority communities in Peel and surrounding areas to come out, connect, and be involved in active living  in a form of over all holistic and healthful approach. The program also encourages seniors to be forefront in keeping active and encouraging healthy living in their communities.
The program continues at the Rexdale Women’s Centre / Etobicoke, and Indus / Brampton at Sportsplex building. The 10 month round ends in March, 2019.

We are starting another exciting and fun filled year 2 in April, 2019 and that will take us into March, 2020! We will be offering Nordic walking, Yoga, and Line Dancing delivered by experienced professionals. Come out and bring a friend, neighbor, spouse, relative, anyone and “let’s get in; get fit; get on with life!”.

This project is funded by the Government of Ontario.

For more information please contact Ann Choy: (905) 270 -6252 or e-mail:
Seniors' Healthy Kitchen
This project actively includes seniors in both program planning and delivery by sharing their own expertise and knowledge of their own cultures’ vegetables, fruit, herbs and seeds, as well as demonstrating healthy ways of preparing and cooking food. Seniors are involved in a healthy food demonstrations and nutrition awareness building workshops. It’s a way to support participation and inclusion of seniors and therefore addresses the issue of social isolation and encourages volunteerism. It is also recognizing that food is a central component of social life. The project comprises of five rounds of eight sessions in each.

We have started last two rounds in Sep/Oct 2018. Round 4 has started on September 10th 2018  with Tamil Seniors Group at Mississauga Valley Community Centre, Mississauga. Round 5 has started on October 2nd, 2018 at MIAG Centre for Diverse Women & Families. Both groups are very interactive and their feedback is very positive. The last session will be held on Nov 20, 2018.

Community Garden Trip
Two trips were arranged as apart of this project to take the senior participants to Iceland Teaching Garden where the community garden of Ecosourse is situated. A workshop was facilitated by a coordinator from Ecosourse, who gave a detail hand on presentation about the Fall vegetables and fruits. The seniors were involved in picking the ripe vegetables and enjoyed the fresh salsa prepared on site.

This project is funded by New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP). For more information and registration please contact Samina Bangash at (905) 270-1829, or e-mail:

Building Bridges- Women's Empowerment and Leadership Training

The positive impact of women leadership in community development.

“I participated in the Building Bridges program. I wanted to learn skills that would help me get a job in my field. I have a diploma in Social Service Work, but after graduating I decided to stay home with my young children until they were school age. Building Bridges helped me develop my facilitation and public speaking skills by doing presentations within the group. I participated in few job fairs and events which helped me to develop my skills and feel more confident speaking in front of other people. Eventually I facilitated sessions in MIAG’s other programs, which gave me hands on experience.

The opportunities that Building Bridges and MIAG have allowed me to fill in gaps and update my resume with relevant experience; which allowed me to achieve my overall goal of getting a job in my field. I value my experience in the Building Bridges proram because it has helped me develop and put into practice my short term goals. Soon I will be able to achieve my long term goals as well. The next series of Building Bridges workshops start in January 2019. I would recommend Building Bridges to any woman that is new to the country or who wants a change of direction in her life.” - Idil Abdirashid

If you are a woman interested in developing your facilitation skills and furthering or exploring your opportunities in a community/network setting, this program will be a great resource to you.

We are currently running a group on Tuesdays from 5:30pm-8:00pm at MIAG office. We will be starting another group on Fridays, starting January 11th to April 19th, from 11:00am - 2:00pm at The Centre for Education and Training in Brampton. For registration and more details contact Melissa Lopes at or call (905)270-6252.

This project is funded by Ontario Trillium Foundation.



 Idil and Sola  are doing outreach for MIAG in a job fair in Mississauga
Aerobics and Zumba for Women and Girls

Due to the high demand, we restarted this program on October 18th, 2018. This new round will run on Thursdays for 8 weeks from 5pm-6pm until December 6th at Frank McKechnie Community Centre (at Active Living Studio). This is a fun-filled Zumba/ Aerobics program which runs for an hour. It aims to motivate women and girls from diverse communities to embrace healthy lifestyle consisting of both physical exercise and healthy eating. It creates a place for women to meet other women from different communities, and the opportunity to expand their social network. Women greatly enjoy and gain the benefits of this affordable and culturally appropriate program.

We delivered total 24 sessions from April - September 2018. Over 100 women and girls participated in these sessions. They reflected the Latin American, Middle Eastern, Chinese, South Asian, Caribbean, African, and Eastern European cultural backgrounds. In every session they participated in a full hour fitness class followed by a 30 minutes healthy food demo session.

We thank City of Mississauga for their financial support.

If you would like to register or to learn more about this program, please contact Farida at (905)270-6252 or e-mail:
Multicultural Children Soccer Program

The Multicultural Children’s Soccer program has been running during the Summer season for over 10 years for children and youth from diverse communities. This year, we ran a total of 16 sessions from  May 25th - September 7th, 2018. The program succeeded in serving 63 boys and girls in our community. It came to an end with a tournament and celebration on Friday, September 7th, 2018. Children were exited to receive  trophies and awards.

Our aim has always been and remains in providing an accessible program that promotes the love of sport in children whilst contributing to healthy child development through the many benefits of participation in sports.  At its most basic level not only does soccer instill the habit of active living on a young life but it promotes the importance of teamwork and the rewards of one’s own disciplined efforts.

We thank Canadian Tire Jump Start and The Rotary Club for their financial support and contributions in helping make this program possible. We hope to be able to continue to offer the program for many years to come. Should you be interested in pre-registering your children or grandchildren for next summer kindly email us at

Ethno-cultural Communities Well-being Project

Train the Trainers - Breaking the Stigma

How are you taking care of your mental health & wellness? Many of us do not take care of our mental health as we do for our physical health.
If you or someone you know would like to learn about mental health, MIAG offers mental health training workshops on various topics. The purpose of the workshops is to combat against stigma by raising awareness and training individuals about mental health and well-being in their communities. These sessions inform participants about available resources within the community and educate them through discussion about certain topics related to mental health.
The project offers five different courses:

1. Mental Health First Aid for Adults who Interact with Youth 
2. Mental Health First Aid (Basic)
3. Seniors and Mental Health                 
4. Women Abuse and Mental Health
5. Children and Mental Health

As the year comes to an end, MIAG is in the process of completing the  training sessions. The workshops currently have over 100 trainees in the community who are showing growth in their knowledge around mental health, self-care, and the resources available.

Join us in ending the stigma around mental health!  We are excited to continue bringing awareness in the community about mental health and well-being. If you are interested in registering, or would like more information, please contact the Project Coordinator, Linda Le Pera via email: or call 905-270-1829.

We thank to United Way of Greater Toronto for their financial support.
Free Counselling Services
Do you or someone you know require support on various issues such as mental health, grief and loss, family relationships, substance abuse, and domestic abuse? MIAG’s counselling services may be the place for you.

In collaboration with the Catholic Family Services of Peel - Dufferin, MIAG offers free counselling services for individuals, couples, and families, as well as women support services. We encourage individuals to seek support for their overall well-being by participating in our counselling sessions. Individuals who take part in counselling can gain benefits based on what they need.
Our counsellor uses a client-based approach that focuses on individual needs, strengths, and areas that may need improvement. Counselling may help individuals:
  • Improve relationships 
  • Manage mental illness
  • Cope with a crisis
  • Set goals

Individual, couple, and family counselling takes place on Mondays from 10:00am to 4:00pm. For more information on our services, book an appointment please call our confidential intake line @ 905-270-5685.
Domestic Violence Prevention Workshops
In collaboration with the HEAL (Helping End Abuse for Life) Network, MIAG delivers workshops about women abuse and children who witness abuse. The objective is to raise awareness about the im­pact of abuse on women and children as well as to inform community members about the available programs for moms and children who survived abusive relationships.

MIAG is offering these workshops in English and Arabic. Total six workshops will be delivered
 this year. Two workshops will be taking place at MIAG in the month of November: November 21st from 1pm - 3pm for all communities in English and November 29th from 9:30am - 12:30pm for Arabic speaking community in Arabic. To participate in these workshops or to learn more about the program, please contact us at (905) 270-6252
Monthly Drop-in Sessions

Every third Wednesday of the month, MIAG has a Monthly Drop-In Group where community members come together to connect with each other, enjoy refreshments and discuss different topics. Topics that have been discussed over the past months include self-care, music that brings people together, meditation, and indoor gardening.
In addition to discussing different topics, participants also engage in many group activities. The goal of these activities is to get the participants to become more open to one another and hopefully build friendships, while increasing their brain stimulation.
If you are interested in taking part of our drop-in sessions, please join us on the third Wednesday of the month from 1:00pm-3:00pm! The program will take place at MIAG.
For more information, please contact Linda at 905-270-1829 or email:

Student's Testimonial

My name is Christianne and I am a practicum student with MIAG from Sheridan College. As a program assistant for Linda, I have participated in her drop-in programs for the past two months. For September, the topic was Music That Brings Us Together and it was very heartwarming to see the way music can bring a group of strangers together. We sang songs from different eras together and shared stories with one another. After participating in this program, Linda gave me the opportunity to facilitate the Drop-In program for the month of October. The topic was a games day where we engaged in different brain stimulating and conversation provoking activities. I enjoyed facilitating this program because it pushed me to go out of my comfort zone and build relationships with participants. I chose activities that included word games that got clients to think. Furthermore, I added activities where community members could share stories with the group. I believe I learned a lot from the participants, and I hope they learned some activities they could engage in within their communities. From participating in these sessions, I have definitely learned the value of this program. It meets the needs of community members through the presentation of different topics, while allowing them to build connections and create a support network.
Copyright © |2016|MIAG CENTRE FOR DIVERSE WOMEN AND FAMILIES|*, All rights reserved.
Summer Newsletter 2018

Our mailing address is:
3034 Palstan Rd, Suite # M3
Mississauga, ON L4Y 2Z6

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MIAG Centre for Diverse Women & Families · 3034 Palstan Rd · Mississauga, On L4Y2Z6 · Canada

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