MOSAIC'S - CREATING POSITIVE COMMUNITY CHANGE
MOSAICs - Health Activism by Women … for Women
When newcomers first come to Canada, they are, on average, healthier than most Canadians. However, research evidence indicates that settlement stressors, such as racialized poverty/unemployment, isolation, language barriers, and inaccessible services, result in a deterioration of newcomer health, over a period of time. This has been referred to as the ‘healthy immigrant effect’. Currently, there is little attention to the role of newcomer parents in health promotion for their children, and an absence of policies to support newcomers develop healthier lifestyles.
In response to this, Newcomer Women’s Services has partnered with Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, OCASI, Ryerson University, and City of Toronto Parks, Forestry, and Recreation to address these gaps and launched:
MOSAICS: A Roundtable for Newcomer Heart-Healthy Parenting
Funding for this pilot project was received through a generous grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Spark Community Advocacy Development grant.
The objective of this pilot project is to empower newcomer women to build healthier families; and to advocate for accessible heart healthy nutrition and recreational services on behalf of their communities with policy-makers.
The MOSAICs Project aimed to provide leadership training to 15 newcomer women. We received an overwhelming response: 50 women participated in an intensive and but fun-filled training program. The leadership training included topics such as Canadian social policy; Canadian public policy; chronic disease risk factors for obesity; diabetes; civic engagement; public speaking and effective communication. Fifteen participants were selected to develop and design needs assessments in their communities. These women will serve as ambassadors for their communities and will present their research projects to policy-makers at a policy round-table later this year. This project was made possible through funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
The photographs capture the interest and commitment of newcomer women to these issues!