Promoting socio-economic wellbeing of families and seniors of persons of African descent

 

It has been established that immigrant’s families are usually extended. Parents, grandparents and relatives live together and in addition to the challenges of integration, immigrant families are also faced with difficulties in managing and planning for the retirement of their seniors.

ADAM’s experiences in ensuring the successful integration and settlement of persons of African descent reveals that most immigrant families and seniors of African descent grapple with uncertainties when it comes to making retirement decisions. It is often difficult to know when to start planning for retirement amidst getting used to the culture, resettlement, integration and striving to age positively. Caring for the elderly amidst cultural biases and decisions about retirement in nursing homes may create a deep sense of guilty, confusion and conflicts among immigrant families.

In this regard the Family Support and Positive Aging Program is aimed at supporting families and seniors of persons of African descent.

GOALS:

The broad goals are:

  • To improve health and wellbeing of families with children 0-16 through supporting parental roles, healthy growth and development of children and promoting wellbeing of parents.
  • To promote social inclusion among seniors through volunteerism and involvement in community organization and activities.
  • To enhance the capacity of seniors and families of African descent in making pre-retirement and retirement plans and take leadership roles in community organizing.

Consequently, some objectives have been set in line with associated activities to ensure efficient and sustainable delivery of these goals. These include

OBJECTIVES:

Objective One: The establishment of a community advisory group within the structure of ADAM.

This is to ensure inclusion and wider participation of families, seniors, community members and groups in identifying and designing programs that meet felt-needs and promote self-help through deliberative/reflective meetings and group discussions. The advisory group is divided into four sub-groups according to interest and professional field. The advisory groups provide feedbacks and advice to ADAM on community needs, views and issues related programs and services. The frequency of advisory sub-group meetings depends on the number of issues submitted for deliberation and resolution. The sub-groups and focal persons are as follows:

  • Education, Youth and Child development, 
  • Community Services and Employment,
  • Health and Wellness and Citizens Engagement,
  • Awareness and Communication.

To join any of the advisory sub-group.  

The inauguration of the advisory group in line with ADAM constitution would be on the 18th January 2014 at the Mount Saint Vincent University Multi-purpose Hall. Rosario Students Centre.

Objective Two:  The formation and use of community groups and practices as a medium to create awareness, exchange ideas and mobilize support and solidarity for families and seniors.

Discussion groups:  The community groups meet weekly or monthly to discuss issues related to wellbeing of individuals and families from a holistic perspectives

  • Youth groups:
  • Care and hospitality groups: for focal persons
  • Pre-retirement and retirement planning group: for focal persons
  • House fellowships:  focal persons
  • Nationality groups: Nigeria Society, Ghanaian Association, Zambian Association, Togolese Society, Kenyan Association
  • Baby seating and child minding clubs

To join any of the community groups

Community Baby Shower Series:

Currently the community baby shower series is ongoing. Baby shower is a community practice that was originally used as a medium to provide advice to mothers on the art of motherhood and family life. The family support program organizes community baby showers for moms as an effective entry point to discussing, learning, sharing ideas, experiences and coping strategies from different cultural perspectives. Topics for discussion in the baby showers among others include family life, marriage, wellness, parenting and positive aging for women and mothers.  The community baby shower series runs monthly from June to November and the goal is

  • To raise cross-cultural awareness on family life and positive aging for mothers.
  • To reduce isolation among immigrant Moms
  • To generate a sense of community and support for Mom

The baby shower is open to the public and to all those who are expecting a baby, or have baby under 3months, if you want to support or share experience or learn about other cultures.

Objective Three: To strengthen linkages between the association and community groups in the provision of services, information sharing and awareness creation for families and seniors.

  • The family support and Positive Aging program identifies and develops a profile of community groups and the kind of services and support that they provide to families and individual seniors and creates linkages between groups and families. This is to find areas to strengthen the capacity of community groups in the care and support of families and seniors.
  • In order to provide families and seniors relevant information to make pre-retirement and retirement plans, various forums would be used. These include conferences and training for leaders of community groups.

Objective Four:     

The Family Support and Positive Aging Program works to enhance the capacities of families and seniors to get involved in volunteering and community activities as a means of expanding  their network of associations, build solidarity beyond socio-economic and racial divisions and take advantage of available community supports and services. The program collaborates with other organizations to provide capacity building workshops.

Currently the capacity enhancement training on community leadership and social inclusion is designed to deliver workshops on

  • Introduction to volunteering in Canada and among persons of African descent
  • Dissemination and use of ICTs in community building
  • Conflicts resolution
  • Presentation skills
  • Facilitation skills
  • Mobilization skills
  • Developing meeting agenda, organizing meeting and writing meeting minutes
  • Group dynamics

Transportation arrangements are made. To register free and participate in the workshops

Objective Five: Collaborate with relevant organizations in ensuring the overall wellbeing of families and seniors of persons of African descent.

The Family Support and Positive Aging Program collaborates with various organization in order to ensure the adequate and effective provision of services and programs that enhances the socio-economic wellbeing of families and seniors. Some of the organizations include

  • Department of Gerontology and Family Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Chebucto Family Resource Centre
  • Westwood Family Resource Centre
  • Shannex
  • Integration and Settlement Immigrants Services-ISIS

We are sorry, this program was discontinued due to lack of funding.

If you would like to help or know someone who can, please contact us.