The first Supporting Multi-Generation South Asian Families in Windsor Essex Workshop a Huge Success

On Saturday, June 6, 2015 the Supporting Multi-Generation South Asian Families in Windsor Essex Workshop took place in Forest Glade Community Centre in Windsor. The Punjabi Cultural Society of Essex partnered with March of Dimes Canada to bring this workshop to the community.

78 people attended the workshop that was held in both Punjabi and English. The event was very well-received and went a long way towards building a trust between the South Asian community in Windsor and March of Dimes Canada.

Mr. Mutta, CEO of Punjabi Community Health Services in Brampton was the keynote speaker, and he spoke eloquently about the issues and barriers members of the South Asian community can encounter when navigating and understanding the health care system. He praised both Punjabi Cultural Society of Essex and March of Dimes Canada in building mutual trust and partnership to break the language barrier and encouraged the community to work cooperatively with the organization. He insisted the community ownership of their needs, as there are many organizations that can help. 

The day was a great success. The workshop was spearheaded by Windsor resident, Dr. Simarjeet Sahota, who while attending a similar March of Dimes Canada conference in November 2014 proposed the organization take these conferences to non-English speaking people who need and can benefit from these services. As a pilot, Dr. Sahota suggested March of Dimes begin with her community, the Punjabi-speaking South Asian community in Windsor.

"For over 60 years March of Dimes Canada has been operating and today we made history breaking the language barrier and creating this resource for the South Asian community in Windsor and elsewhere,” said Dr. Sahota.

“This workshop was far more successful than I could have anticipated. I hope this is the first of many similar conferences we offer across the country. Partnering with groups to bring information to specific communities is desperately needed,” said Sylvia Davies, National Manager of Regional Development and Peer Support for March of Dimes Canada, who attended the Workshop.

In addition to the keynote address, participants had the opportunity to try their hands at Art Therapy and Chair Yoga, a few even got massages provided by a volunteer massage therapist, Julie Depascuale.

Participants were pleased with the Workshop, finding the information helpful, and one stating that, “it was very good information that we usually don't even notice and apply in our daily life - very helpful.” 

Since 2009, March of Dimes Canada has successfully organized several Living with a Disability events each year across Canada. In the past year, they have been held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Calgary, Alberta, Vancouver, British Columbia and Kingston, Newmarket and Toronto in Ontario. This is first time a workshop was geared towards a specific community and in their language. March of Dimes Canada looks forward to building more partnerships and resources together with other ethnic communities. 

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