The Regina Immigrant Women Centre (RIWC) first began in the 1980s to address newcomer women’s barriers in their transition to Canadian life. The RIWC provides services for immigrant and refugee women and their families to facilitate and support their smooth integration into Saskatchewan. They focus on empowering newcomer women to build confidence, community networks, and work-related skills and knowledge in a safe and supportive environment.
In line with their mission, the RIWC introduced the HIPPY program in 2021, serving newcomers, permanent residents, and refugees in the Regina area. HIPPY has been a great addition to their host of other programs, as it furthers the RIWC’s mission to address newcomer women’s barriers and ensure they don’t get left behind in the settlement process.
Insight into the HIPPY Program:
“Before beginning HIPPY, I had some confusion over the best way to teach my son. The program helped in many ways. It gave me structure on how to teach, engage, and play with my child and I’ve been able to see his progress.”
“HIPPY helped build my confidence so I can teach my son using all fun activities and materials provided.”
Many of our clients say that by the end of their time in HIPPY, they’re thrilled they found the program, as it benefitted the entire family rather than just their children. Specifically, about half of our families are refugees, and many begin with lower English levels. Initially, these parents faced a lot of challenges. They didn’t know what to do with their children or what to expect from the HIPPY activities. These difficulties, in addition to their language barriers, lowered their confidence in their ability to succeed in the program.
Despite this, we had a specific Home Visitor that spoke their language and worked directly with these parents. By connecting this Home Visitor to these families, the mothers expanded their knowledge of English and could fully lead their children in the HIPPY activities. From their accounts, the mothers feel that they’ve gotten to know their children better and formed stronger bonds with them through HIPPY. For them, the HIPPY program doesn’t just involve their child but their entire family; consequently, everyone benefits.
For more information please visit: https://reginaiwc.ca/