19 Sep Global Program Manager Update – Newsletter no. 4
As the Global COA Program Manager, I am delighted to release the fourth COA Newsletter, featuring stories from various COA training sites overseas as well as updates from partners in Canada.
Louise BélangerCOA Global Program Manager
During Fiscal Year 2015-16, the COA program reached an important milestone in serving its 200,000th participant. To celebrate 18 years of commitment to newcomers’ success and wellbeing, IOM and COA prepared a feature story on the 200,000th participant – Rocky N’Daye, a young and energetic Congolese refugee trained in Nairobi, Kenya. You can read the full story here.
Over the last Fiscal Year, COA provided pre-arrival information and support to a total of 14,040 participants in 40 countries and 62 different locations. All these services were provided in-person.
COA was also instrumental in providing basic information and orientation to the Syrian Refugees resettled out of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The Management Team, supported by staff and IOM Operational Teams in the field, worked tirelessly to plan, organize and implement a large-scale distribution operation and the delivery of short information briefings. At the end of March 2016, IOM had assisted the Government of Canada in the resettlement of 25,244 Syrian refugees.
Every single Syrian family resettled as part of this operation received the information materials prepared by COA, including Arabic copies of its COA Handbook and Workbook, as well as other key printed resources.
Finally, the COA team has been actively building new relationships with partners in Canada.
Through the Planning for Canada initiative, COA and the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) help newcomers find work that reflects their skills and education, and assist them in making informed settlement decisions. Planning for Canada works with a network of over 40 Canadian partners, thereby facilitating referrals to local and specialized services supporting labour market integration and connections to employers and settlement agencies.
Through its partnership with YMCA Canada and five local YMCA associations across the country, COA was able to develop a complete set of resources tailored to refugee youth, including a brand new COA Youth Participant Booklet and a series of city profiles featuring city-specific fun programs and activities for youth and newcomers.
All in all, the last few months have been challenging, motivating and very engaging for the COA team. We hope you will enjoy the stories and articles featured in this fourth edition of our Newsletter.
COA Global Program Manager
Canadian Orientation Abroad – IOM