COVID Stories: From The Neighbourhood Organization to the Neighbourhood

By: Alanna Quinn, Engagement Coordinator Darcy MacCallum, Director of Family & Wellness at The Neighbourhood Organization (TNO), sat down with MCIS to discuss the support that TNO provides to Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park, St. James Town, and Crescent Town. Thorncliffe Park and area has been supported by TNO since 1985, and Darcy shared TNO’s successes and some of the hardships endured in the neighbourhood. Last month, MCIS had the privilege of translating TNO’s Emergency Food…

COVID-19 Stories: Hanen Nanaa, Campaigning for An Inclusive Canada

MCIS recently had the pleasure of interviewing Hanen Nanaa, a young, passionate individual dedicated to supporting newcomers in feeling welcomed and connected to their communities. Hanen is very special to MCIS as she was the youngest recipient to receive the Interpreter Training Scholarship in 2016. She has only been in Canada for four years and has already been accepted to Ryerson University, volunteered with many newcomers’ organizations, and began leading Books, Arts, and Music Collective…

Meet Tareq Hadhad

by: Craig Carter-Edwards from WelcomeHomeTO One of the best parts of the work we do at WHTO is the people we get to meet – Canadians, new and old, who are starting lives, joining and establishing communities, sharing their talents in support of others, and working together to strengthen our very special cultural mosaic. Last summer, I had a chance to meet one of our newest Canadian citizens – Tareq Hadhad, founder of Peace by…

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution Act, 1982, “Charter”) – A Reflection on its 35th Anniversary

As we go about our daily lives we pay scant attention to the laws of this land and the guaranteed rights and freedoms we enjoy under the Charter.  We forget the protection it offers us so we can live our lives with dignity. Critics are quick to point out that the Charter is there in name and not really available to the average person.  Others say it is abused by criminal defendants who use the…

Here is How Our Interpreter Helped Out 10 Syrian Families for Free

Ten Syrian refugee families celebrated Easter at a gathering held at the Tzu Chi Foundation and guess who interpreted for them; our very own interpreter Maisaa Sahloul. Hold on, the best part is yet to come, she did it all for free. She spoke about what motivated her to do this. “Language barrier is a huge challenge for Syrian refugees and I want to help my countrymen, which is why I volunteered to interpret for…

A Day in the Life of an Interpreter Services Coordinator

On a cold foggy evening, Zewdi Gselassie, our Interpreter Services Coordinator was about to leave when phones started ringing off the hook; not unusual for MCIS where our coordinators attend calls after-hours too. “Hello, I am calling from Toronto Police Services. We need an interpreter for an emergency situation now,” a desperate voice on the other end said. “I realized that they needed an interpreter for an elderly gentleman Abai (name changed) who did not…

Asylum Seekers Flood Canada: Read Why

On March 8, firefighters in Emerson, Manitoba were taken by surprise, as they reached a shed to find 17 asylum seekers including a baby taking shelter from a major storm that blew through the area. This isn’t the first time that refugees in such high numbers have crossed the border town. According to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), 410 refugee claimants were intercepted near the Emerson port of entry while crossing into Canada between…

MCIS’ Language Independent Translator Training Program – 5 Years in the Making

On Tuesday, March 21, MCIS launched its Language Independent Translator Training Program. It was the culmination of all the hard work of the team led by Gabriela Rodas in strong collaboration with Victoria Radvan over the past year. It is hard to even try to describe the amount of work that went into developing this comprehensive training curriculum consisting of 40 modules that cover all aspects of providing translation services, from the conceptual and theoretical…

Our daughters – deep thoughts on IWD, 2017

I am the mom of a thoughtful young woman and am still striving to get it right. Where do I fall short? Well I want everything for my child so she can be an all-star. Nothing wrong with that except it is my idea of what an all-star should be. It started when she was young – this obsessive need to make her everything she could be. She went along, into her teens, and then…

Homelessness and its Perils

As of February 28, 2017, Toronto reported a 95% occupancy rate in shelters opened for the homeless. “I don’t have a choice. I have to do this,” the blue-eyed girl on the pavement told me holding out her arms for money. Here is a prelude-five minutes earlier I asked her what she was doing in the freezing cold. If our readers recall, it was a day when temperatures dipped to as low as -11 degree…