This study sought to gain a better understanding of the support ethnocultural organizations provide to newly arrived immigrants and refugees. The project assessed the economic, social, and cultural roles played by ethnocultural communities and organizations in supporting the settlement and integration of newcomers in Winnipeg, with an emphasis on how such roles contribute to the wellbeing and social inclusion of refugee youth.
In collaboration with Immigration Partnership Winnipeg, two workshops were held with representatives from numerous Winnipeg-based ethnocultural community organizations to understand their experiences in supporting newcomer settlement and integration. The study also incorporated a review of the literature on the role of ethnocultural communities in newcomer settlement and integration, and the scope and scale of ethnocultural community organizations in Winnipeg.
This study found that the most common challenge ethnocultural community organizations face in providing support for immigrants and refugees is in relation to funding. All representatives identified funding as their most pressing need since it has implications for all aspects of their operations. There is a lack of sustained and consistent funding available for these groups to offer programs, services, and activities, and expand their capacities. Since funding is limited, many groups are unable to employ personnel in secure full-time work, so they rely on volunteers. As such, they struggle to find enough dedicated volunteers.
This study also identified a lack of centralized and reliable information and resources for ethnocultural community organizations to access, an underdeveloped relationship with settlement service provider organizations, and a lack of engagement or support from the municipal government. Many ethnocultural community representatives desire enhanced access to and knowledge of supports and services that are currently available for newcomers in the community.