18 Jan Global Program Manager Update – Newsletter no. 3
As the COA Global Program Manager, I am delighted to release the third COA Newsletter, featuring stories from various COA training sites overseas as well as stories from partners in Canada. Over the next quarter, COA will be serving its 200,000th client and celebrating this important milestone in all of its 20 permanent training sites worldwide.
Louise BélangerCOA Global Program Manager
Over the months of November and December 2015, COA conducted its last orientation sessions for caregivers preparing for their new lives in Canada. Over thirteen years, from September 2002 to December 2015, COA delivered orientation to approximately 20,000 caregivers (formerly live-in caregivers) in the Philippines; representing approximately 10% of the total number of COA participants trained since the inception of the program in 1998. As you will read in two of the articles featured in the present Newsletter, caregivers received a one-day labour-focused orientation session. Though they learned a great deal about life in Canada, information was also geared towards understanding their contract terms and obligations, Canadian labour laws, employee-employer relationships and expectations, salary, benefits, deductions, remittances, and much more. COA is very proud of the work accomplished in serving Filipino caregivers. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the incredible contributions of all caregivers in Canada, and to thank all COA Manila facilitators who have delivered this labour migrant orientation session. Special thanks go to Ms. Cecilia Leung, who was, for the past eight years, the main COA caregiver facilitator.
On December 1st 2015, COA launched a new initiative in partnership with the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP). Planning for Canada is a ground-breaking partnership between two strong organizations, building on years of similar experience providing pre-arrival support to immigrants and their families, as they prepare for their move to Canada. Planning for Canada helps newcomers find work that reflects their skills and education, and assists them in making informed settlement decisions that will impact on their initial adaptation and future integration to Canada. The program will be offered in-person in 12 countries, with the capacity to deliver online services worldwide. Click here to read the press release.
COA continues to work with its partners in the development of the new Refugee Youth Program. In addition to its existing Refugee Youth Curriculum, COA is currently developing two new resources (a toolkit and a booklet) tailored for refugee youth between the ages of 10 and 19. The global COA team, in Canada and abroad, is working tirelessly to provide individualized support, information and connections to refugee youth going through the COA Program.