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MIAG Newsletter
Summer 2014 Edition 
Welcome to MIAG's 2014 Summer Newsletter:

In this Issue:

MIAG's 2014 Annual General Meeting

Volunteer at MIAG

Ethno-cultural Communities Well-being Project Train the Trainers 2014-2015

Ethno-cultural Mental Health Support Groups

Job Posting, Project Coordinator

Domestic Violence Prevention Workshops

Free Counselling Services

Growing as Parents Program

Active Family Teams in Action

Multicultural Children Soccer Program

Bike Month 2014 Mississauga

Ethno- Cultural Seniors Make a Difference

Generation of Hearts: Seniors - Youth Mentorship Program

MIAG's 2014 Annual General Meeting

MIAG Centre for Diverse Women and Families was delighted to host its 2014 Annual General Meeting on June 25th, 2014 from 5:00 – 7:30 pm at Burnhamthrope Library in Mississauga. The evening began with a video containing pictures of MIAG’s programs. MIAG’s chair, Dr. Salha Jeizan, hosted the Business Meeting section of the evening. MIAG’s Executive Director, Huda Abbas, was delighted to unveil the organization’s Strategic Directions for the next 5 years (2015-2020).

We were honoured to have Councillor Chris Fonseca City Councillor- Ward 3, Mississauga, as a guest speaker. Councillor Fonseca spoke about ‘The City Plan for Community Mobilization’ and MIAG’s achievement in illustrating ‘Great Mobilization’. “A vision that Mississauga is not only a people place but a place where people want to be.” Councillor Fonseca elaborated that this vision can be achieved by the five pillars called the Strategic Plan and Round Tables “we are all about our Mississauga connecting with the rest of the world and to ensure your voice is heard; bringing ideas and action by citizens for a greater and better Mississauga.”  

Furthermore, MIAG was pleased to welcome two new Board Members, Vandhna (Mina) Amrith and Leslie Asante-Asre. A video was played which contained photos and testimonials from MIAG’s program participants in 2013/2014. Board members, staff and volunteers were given recognition for their contribution to MIAG. Attendees enjoyed an informative event with a variety of healthy refreshments. 
Make your summer worthwhile!
Volunteering during the summer is an excellent way to make great use of your time and get involved in amazing work. Summer placements are a unique opportunity for you to spend your holidays and be involved in worthwhile work.

Volunteering in a summer placement can include anything from volunteering in a summer camp to water sport management projects. The choice is yours, whether you’re looking for leadership opportunities, sports programs or volunteering placements. All you need is to decide what you want to do and where you want to go!

What are you going to do this summer? Laze away on the beach or volunteer at a summer placement? Feel free to contact Sana anytime at from Monday to Thursday (905) 270 – 1829 or (905) 270 – 6252.  

Ethno-cultural Mental Health Support Groups

MIAG is expanding the mental health programing by organizing 'Ethno-cultural Mental Health Support Groups. This program aims to form support groups for children, youth, young adults and adults from different ethno-cultural communities. These support groups will be age specific and culture specific as well. Each group will run for 8 sessions, once a week for two hours. There will be groups for women, women and men, children (8-12 years old), teenagers (13 - 18 years old), and young adults (19 - 35 years old).

The main objective is to empower women, children, youth and families in a supportive environment by discussing relevant issues that foster community connectedness, development of healthy relationships, and reduce the stigmatization of mental health. Participants will be encouraged to open up and to share their issues, frustration, confusion, and any other challenges that are related to mental health.
The techniques and exercises that they will participate in during the support groups’ sessions will help them to cope with everyday challenges, enhance positive thinking and constructive communication. It will encourage understanding among family members, and will increase empowerment and resiliency.

Through this project, participants are expected to receive an on-going guidance, support, information, and resources. Support groups will run in a safe and friendly zone. Groups will be facilitated by experienced facilitators in Mississauga and Brampton. The program is funded generously by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Job Posting – Contract
Project Coordinator

‘Ethno-cultural Mental Health Support Groups’ Project
28 Hours / week  for 48 weeks
Remuneration: $23/hour

MIAG Centre for Diverse Women & Families is a community organization that strives to address gaps in service delivery to the diverse communities of Peel. MIAG is committed to the concept of capacity building and community development. As an agency we actively integrate creative responses to existing and emerging ethno-cultural communities’ needs by applying effective outreach, leadership training and skills development programs.

We are currently seeking an experienced individual in coordinating and facilitating mental health support groups for women, women and men, young adults, teenagers, and Children. The objective of this project is to support these community groups to cope with everyday challenges, enhance positive thinking, communication and understanding among family members, empower and increase resiliency, establish a support network among them, and thus, increase community participation and leadership skills. Participants are expected to receive an on-going guidance, support, information, resources, and referrals through this project.

The Ethno-cultural Mental Health Support Groups Project Coordinator is expected to:
• Demonstrate leadership in planning and facilitating support groups in collaboration with Outreach Worker, Supervisor and partner agencies.
• Develop the project work plan taking in consideration the time frame and the available resources for the project.
• Develop an evaluation plan and evaluation measures for the project.
• Design promotional materials and outreach to the identified communities.
• Prepare resource materials for the support groups according to the age group and the need of the participants.
• Organize Advisory Committee meetings on regular basis. Integrate inputs from various collaborative partners in the project plan and delivery process
• Enhance partnerships within the community to identify and involve individuals from the ethno-cultural communities in the support groups.
• Organize nine support groups involving 16 individual in each group.  Each support group will run for 8 weeks / once a week for 2 1/2 hours. Three for adults (36+ years old) mixed of women and men, one for children (8-12 years old), one for teenagers (13 - 18 years old), and one for young adults (19 - 35 years old).   
• Compiling a report of qualitative and quantitative project outcomes including data descriptions in charts and percentages.

• Master / Bachelor Degree in Psychology, Social Service Work or related field from a recognized university or institution, with major focus on mental health education.
• Minimum of three years experience in support group delivery to different age groups and ethno-cultural communities.
• Ability to develop materials, tools, and exercises and other psycho-support resources aimed adults and children.
• Minimum of three years experience in project management and community outreach.
• Strong ability to work with a multicultural clientele and within an anti-oppression framework.
• Extensive understanding of best practices in delivering community based mental health support groups.
• Extensive understanding of perceptions about mental illness among the communities that are part of this project.
• Demonstrate group development and motivation skills as well as mental health support group’s facilitation skills.
• Fluent in speaking, reading and writing in English. Knowledge of other language spoken by the target groups is an asset.
• Wide knowledge of the available resources, programs and services pertaining to mental health within the diverse communities of Peel.
• Results oriented with excellent organizational, time management and problem solving skills.
• Able to work independently and as a team player; work effectively with other service providers.
• Computer skills including Microsoft Office; knowledge of other software programs is an asset.
• Valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle.

Interested individuals are invited to apply by sending resume and cover letter to: or fax it to: (905) 270-6263. Deadline is August 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm. No phone calls please.

Ethno-cultural Communities Well - being Project
Train the Trainers 2014-2015

This project is successfully continuing for another year involving members of the diverse communities in a Train the Trainers model. It’s delivered in partnership with other mental health services based agencies.  It provides trainees a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in their communities by building awareness of mental health as a significant factor of individual’s and community’s well-being. The project is financially supported by the United Way of Peel.
On May 28th, 2014 we began with the first round of this year's training series with community members from African and Caribbean cultural backgrounds. The training runs for 10 weeks, once a week for 3 hours where these workshops address various aspects of mental health. After the training participants will conduct two community presentations that focus on reducing the stigma associated to mental health among their community members. The second round of training will start in September. It will involve members of the East Asian communities including Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino, and Japanese. The third round will target members of the Eastern European communities.
Last year we organized three rounds of training involving members of the Latin American, Arab, and South Asian communities respectively. This setting provides participants ample opportunities to share their thoughts, traditions and values while taking into consideration cultural sensitivities.
At MIAG we also provide free counselling services for children, youth and families through Tangerine Walk in Counselling and Catholic Family Services of Peel. Also our partner agency Interim Place provides once per week services for women who are experiencing abuse. To obtain more information or to schedule an appointment please contact our intake line at: (905) 270-5865.
Zorica Erkic
Project Coordinator


 Domestic Violence Prevention Workshops

In collaboration with the HEAL Network, this year MIAG will facilitate five workshops for members of the ethno-cultural communities on building awareness of woman abuse and children who witness abuse. The objectives of these workshops is to raise awareness on domestic violence prevention and how to establish healthy relationships in families along with raising children successfully. 

Domestic violence is a common and serious issue in many communities. Women may face abuse from their own family members. Violence can be verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual, or any other form of threat, neglect, harassment, discrimination or racism. Children who are exposed to physical violence in the home tend to exhibit higher rates of depression, worry and frustration.

It is a safe space for women and men to share their experiences as a step of assessing their lives and seeking support should they need it. These workshops will be held in the Fall and Winter 2014. For more information, please contact us at 905-270-6252 or email:


 Free Counselling Services for Community Members

MIAG offers culturally sensitive counselling services to individuals, children, youth and families who experience abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues and interpersonal challenges.  Women, parents and youth from different ethno-cultural communities are attending the counselling sessions on an appointment basis.  The sessions are delivered in collaboration with the Catholic Family Services Peel-Dufferin, Tangerine Walk-in Counselling, and the Interim Place.  Services include: assessment, evaluation, brief intervention, and ongoing support.
The counselling team works collaboratively, using creative approaches to help clients deal with a broad range of issues such as: depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, substance abuse, adjustment disorder, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect. Our focus at MIAG is on cultural competent and client-centred services.  
We recognize that each person is different and has individual social, physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological needs. The services are provided at MIAG incorporate the person’s strengths, preferences, needs, aspirations and cultural beliefs into the treatment plan. Services are offered in individual and family sessions. To make an appointment please call our direct intake line at 905-270-5865. Our intake line languages are available in Arabic, Spanish, Bengali, Serbian, and English.

 Active Family Teams in Action 

Summer time is a beautiful season for outdoor activities. More than 90 families from the city of Mississauga and Brampton are participating in the program at this time of the year.  They practiced a wide variety of fundamental movement skills as locomotor, balance and ball skills during the different games and activities in the program every week for 10 weeks.

On August 12th, 2014 at 3:00 pm we will have a Bike It and Walk It activity in Applewood Heights Park. All the families are invited to participate. On August 16th and 23rd, 2014 the formation of a new group of leaders and volunteers will take place at MIAG’s office to implement the program with new groups of families in the city of Brampton and Mississauga. The project is funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Growing as Parents Program

In collaboration with Vita Centre, MIAG is pleased to present  'Growing as Parents' (GAP) Program.  It will take place  from August 21 - September 25, 2014 on Thursdays from 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM at MIAG, 3034 Palstan Rd. Suite M3, Mississauga, ON.  This is a  parenting and life skills program designed to give parents the tools they need to succeed. It also empowers parents and provides useful information and creates a social network for parents. It will cover various topics such as nutrition, discipline, healthy relationships, stress management and how to keep you and your child(ren) safe. 

This is a FREE program.  Light refreshments, free child-minding and bus tickets will be available.  For more information or registration please call  Vita Centre at 905-502-7933

Multicultural Children Soccer Program

Every Friday at Bloor and Tomken soccer field in Mississauga more than 54 children under 14 years of age from the diverse communities are participating in soccer skills development during the summer time. Parents are engaged in many physical activities also. Parents, children and volunteers are all thoroughly enjoying the program.

All members of the diverse communities are to welcome to participate next fall where the program will be run in the City of Mississauga. For more information please contact Elsa Galan at or call 905-270-1829.

Bike Month 2014 Mississauga

MIAG was pleased to have hosted Bike Month on June 26th, 2014 from Ward 3 at MIAG's Office, 3034 Palstan Rd at 6:15 PM. As Mississauga is very fast-paced and on the go Bike Month was an excellent way to connect with your environment, work those muscles and of course a way to socialize with the community.  It was wonderful to bike during the summer and get to know your neighbourhood and its hidden treasures. There were 56 bikers including Councillor Chris Fonseca - Ward 3, Mississauga, who participated to be a part of our community rides. A great way to promote health benefits that are associated with cycling and most importantly help reduce effluence in the environment. 
Ethno- Cultural Seniors Make a Difference
Our Ethno-cultural Seniors Make a Difference is a two way intergenerational mentorship initiative involving seniors 50 plus and youth 15- 35 years of age from the diverse communities. It’s about sharing powerful senior’s stories with youth which will then be documented in a book.
This initiative is well under way. We have been conducted 2 groups from May 16 to July 30, 2014.  Our next two groups will start on August 11th and August 28th, 2014 at MIAG’s office. If you are a senior over 50 years of age, a youth between 15-35 or an adult under 50 and you would like to participate, you are welcome to be part of this great initiative. This initiative is generously funded by New Horizons for Seniors Program.
Generation of Hearts: Seniors - Youth Mentorship Program
Our “Generation of Hearts” (GOH) is a two way intergenerational mentorship project involving seniors (60+) and youth (ages 16-30) from the diverse communities. It’s about bridging the gap through positive communication, sharing experiences and offering support between volunteer mentors. The mentorship sessions will be guided by experienced coaches.

MIAG’s Generation of Hearts program is well under way. We are currently in Round 4 of mentorship where we have linked seniors and youth together in a unique and innovative project which is bridging the generational gap. Not only are they spending one on one time with each other for 12 weeks but they are also participating in exciting and informative facilitated sessions. They are given the opportunity to increase their skills on topics such as, stress management, healthy cooking lessons and public speaking skills.

If you are a senior over 55 years of age or a youth between the ages of 16 – 30 and you would like to make a positive change in your community than this project is right for you! If you do not fall within these age brackets then you can still volunteer in the project as a mentorship coach. All members of the diverse communities of Peel Region are welcome to participate in this great initiative generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

If you would like to be the change in your community and contribute positively to society by participating in this project please contact Project Coordinator Khadijeh Rakie at or call 905.270.6252
Copyright © 2014 MIAG Centre for Diverse Women & Families, All rights reserved.

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