Over the past two years, the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat has had the pleasure of donating reconditioned bicycles to people needing mobility, through Saamis Immigration and other organizations – thanks to Terry Cooper, Peter Mueller and others involved in Team Freewheels.
We are delighted to be developing an even closer relationship with Saamis Immigration, through recent discussions with the Executive Director, Marijana Agicic, Rotarian Emilia Dirk (Settlement Outreach Worker), Aide Hilsendeger (Community Connections Coordinator) and Mihaela Craciun (Manager of Programming).
On August 11, clients from Saamis’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and their children are invited to participate in a family event at Echodale Park. Busses will be leaving Saamis Immigration at 09:00 and returning at 13:00. Rotarians are invited to come out to Echodale for a ‘meet and greet’, bring chairs and a snack/lunch. Clients are keen to meet local residents and to practice their English language skills.
Our Club and the RC of MH Sunrise are sponsoring two Sunshine Trolley tours of refugees connected to Saamis, due to take place on August 22 and 23. Five to seven Rotarians are invited to join each of the tours, to accompany the 30+ newcomers to Medicine Hat. The tours will both end at the Visitor’s Centre at the Tourism office, where refreshments will be provided by Saamis and Rotarians will have the opportunity to have 45 minutes to chat with the newcomers – again, helping them network and develop their English language skills.
The Rotary Clubs of Medicine Hat and Sunrise are also contributing towards the cost of a ‘movie in the park’ family event – on September 8 in Kin Coulee. We are invited to mingle and connect with the Saamis Immigration clients, volunteers and staff for an hour prior to the showing of the movie at 20:00.
The ‘ask’ from the Board and the Community Services Committee of our Club?
Please use these opportunities to reach out to newcomers to Medicine Hat – to make them feel welcome, to help them make connections, to give them the opportunity to practice their English language conversation skills – and for us to learn more about the challenges of emigration and settling in Medicine Hat. These will be wonderful opportunities to make a difference, albeit small, in the lives of newcomers to our city.
We will keep you updated at meetings and through the Weekly News.