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Ontario Newcomer Champion Awards 2012

Web posted on November 24, 2012

Created in 2007, the Newcomer Champion Awards recognize people and groups who have made a difference in their community and the province through active citizenship and engagement. The awards were created in 2007 and expanded in 2011 to include three categories Community Leader, Newcomer Champion and ChangeTheWorld Youth Ambassador.

Community Leader
The Community Leader recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional long-term commitment in ensuring that immigrants and refugees gain equal, adequate and universal access to social services, and/or promoting active citizenship and engagement in their community or province.

  • Carlton Allen of Mississauga, a committed community leader and agriculturalist who has engaged hundreds of newcomers to volunteer and harvest fruits and vegetables from their gardens and donate them to food banks and community kitchens.
  • Adwoa Badoe of Guelph, a storyteller, author, educator and African dance instructor well-known for helping newcomers find their place in Ontario and bringing African culture to life.
  • Beyene Haile of Windsor, a community leader and volunteer, facilitates an immigrant men's support group to provide a safe environment for men to share their experiences, avoid isolation, build friendships and support one another.
  • Melton Moyo of Aurora, a community mentor and volunteer who founded the Infundo Ephakemeyo, an annual scholarship for students of Zimbabw! ean heritage to pursue post-secondary studies in Canada.
  • Russ Pooley of Toronto, a community worker who for 35 years has worked for the City of Mississauga empowering immigrants to become leaders within the community. He also provides valuable support to festivals like the Carassauga Festival, the Malton Festival, Dash Begat Festival, Can-Sikh Festival and numerous other major events.
  • Mulraj Sethi of Richmond Hill, spends his golden years dedicated to helping immigrant seniors to maintain their social, physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual health.
  • Gezahgn Wordofa of Stratford, is a community leader and volunteer dedicated to helping immigrants of all ages better integrate and feel at home in Ontario. He works with numerous community organizations, assisting them to better support newcomers.

Newcomer Champion
Newcomer Champion - recognizes settlement or community groups that show excellence in promoting cross-cultural understanding and/or implementing programs to help settle and connect newcomers in communities.

  • ! The Peel Newcomer Strategy Group, a multi-sec! toral community collaborative that works to coordinate the efforts of local organizations for the successful inclusion of newcomers in the economy and the community.
  • The Scarborough Housing Help Centre helps newcomers access and maintain affordable and safe accommodation.
  • Sojourn House is the largest refugee shelter in Toronto serving refugees in search of a safe and secure future.
  • York Regional Police Community Services Bureau works tirelessly to build bridges and develop partnerships with newcomer youth. Each year the bureau runs extra-curricular activities (including an overnight camp), introducing newcomer boys and girls to the great Canadian wilderness.

ChangeTheWorld Youth Ambassador
ChangeTheWorld Youth Ambassador - recognizes an outstanding youth volunteer between the ages of 14 to18 who has participated in the annual ChangeTheWorld Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge. Nominations must be made by the local volunteer centre where the youth participated in the Challenge.

  • Anthony Chung of Waterloo bridged the gap between young and old by engaging his peers to visit a local nursing ! home to learn from and spend time with seniors.
  • Madeline Porter of Thunder Bay is a community leader, active volunteer and event organizer with Volunteer Thunder Bay, the Regional Multicultural Youth Council and Thunder Bay's Shelter House.
  • Shloka Saini of Markham, who engaged numerous youth to take notice of environmental issues and volunteer during the 2011 ChangeTheWorld campaign. She was instrumental in organizing the Markham Green Council's eco-competition.

An individual or a group may be nominated in the Community Leader and Newcomer Champion categories. ChangeTheWorld Youth Ambassadors must be nominated by a participating volunteer centre. All nominees must reside in Ontario. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration presents the awards at a special recognition ceremony in June in celebration of Canadian Multiculturalism Day.

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