Through the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership, ICA works with the community to reduce barriers for newcomers!
We often hear “when we work together, we are stronger” for all sorts of challenges.
This is also true for the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) as we work to welcome newcomers to our beautiful region. Newcomers face many challenges in their journey to create a new home. That is why ICA facilitates and hosts the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP).
The GVLIP is a true collaborative effort. Facilitated and hosted by ICA, this is a community driven and directed program led by a diverse group of local leaders and experts from different municipalities, institutions, and organizations. We are working together to develop a local approach to integration, to cultivate a sense of belonging in newcomers, to help overcome challenges they face, and to promote a welcoming attitude to all who call this region home.
Here are just a few of the questions we heard through many interviews the GVLIP has conducted over the past few months:
- How can we find suitable housing for large families?
- How can we make sure refugees get the health screenings they need?
- How can we help newcomers find meaningful work and recognition of their skills?
And now, in the face of a worldwide pandemic, ICA and the GVLIP is having to tackle what perhaps may be the hardest question of all:
- How are immigrants differently impacted by COVID-19 related and how can we keep everybody well?
While ICA continues to provide services to 3,000 immigrants and refugees each year, the GVLIP will tackle these hard questions and think through possible strategies and actions to respond to the needs in our community at a regional level. These issues are complicated, but the GVLIP operates under the understanding that we are indeed stronger, wiser, and more effective when we work together. Working in partnership helps all of us thrive!
Across Canada there are 80 such federally funded Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs). Each LIP is a community partnership and responds to their particular local needs. LIPS also share research and best practices. In this way, LIPs grow and learn by working together not only with their regional partners but also with similar partnerships all across Canada.
In light of COVID-19, all GVLIP meetings will be online and we have no scheduled public events at this time. For more information about GVLIP, please contact Florentien Verhage, GVLIP Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.