Recruited by Dalhousie University to create a program/course that supports Newcomers to navigate our recreation system, by providing them skills to help other Newcomers.
Helping people become leaders by providing education and skills to understand Nova Scotia's recreation system (specifically HRM), break barriers, navigate obsticles (such as transportation, language, culture, costs, etc.) and then assist Newcomer peers to access recreation, either privately (individually ran recreation, such as yoga studios) or publicly (HRM Community Recreation Centres).
As an original member of the Recreation Access for Newcomers (RAN) committee and at that time current term co-chair, Dalhousie sought resources from to begin the first steps in creating this program. Before becoming the program lead and facilitator, as a committee member for RAN, I assisted Dalhousie with the community engagement piece of the program. Before providing resources to Newcomers and teaching skills, we needed to understand what the barriers are for Newcomers to access recreation. The only way to help a community is to listen to the community - we held numerous open meetings with Newcomers to gather information that we would use to tailor the program to have the most benefit for those who would be participating.
Upon completion of my term as co-chair for RAN, Dalhousie recruited me to create a strategic plan that guides the program development after the community consultations. The plan included developing a course with resources, learning materials, presentations, engagement, participation from attendees and public Newcomers, and modules.
Dalhousie requested that I be the leader/faciltator for the in person learning/course. Ten weeks of in person learning for Newcomers begining with an overview module of what will be covered, which was open to input from the participants to request additional modules or resources they feel they would need. The program ended with a last session to decompress and evaluate all materials and learnings with input from the participants - to make the program better and evolve with the needs for the next offering of the program.