HIPPY Saskatchewan at the Saskatoon Open Door Society

The Saskatoon Open Door Society (SODS) is proud to welcome newcomers to Canada and help in their settlement journey in Saskatoon. SODS began serving the community over 40 years ago in response to the needs of Vietnamese refugees arriving in the city. Since then, the organization has expanded while retaining its original commitment to providing programming for refugees and other newcomers to Canada.

SODS helps newcomers connect, integrate, and build strong reciprocal relationships with the local community, including Indigenous communities. As part of Reconciliation Saskatoon, the organization is dedicated to building and promoting diversity and inclusion, where newcomers can participate fully in Saskatoon’s economic, social, intellectual, and cultural life.

Some of the services provided by SODS include settlement and employment, language training and translation, and family, youth and childcare programming. In addition to HIPPY, which SODS began running in 2020, these programs will serve approximately 225 isolated newcomer mothers over five years in the Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville areas.

Insight into the HIPPY Program:

“My child likes the HIPPY science activities so much, he always asks me for more science activities to play with. He says he wants to be a scientist when he grows up.”

“I love all the activities regarding books. My child used to run away every time I wanted to read him a story. Now he grabs a book and asks me to read it again and again for him. I was so surprised in the way he changed.”

“My child loves the rhyming books. I’m so glad he can appreciate the beauty of the English language, and I think it will help him a lot at school.”

Success Story:

Since September 2020, I have been participating in the HIPPY program with my son. When I joined HIPPY, I thought it was only for my son’s educational learning. But the program offers strong family support too.

HIPPY guides me. It shows me what to teach, how to teach, how to regulate emotions, and how to praise and encourage my child. Because of this, my son is performing well at school, and I am so happy! HIPPY gave me the lessons, guidance, confidence, and comfort to move forward in my new country!

When my son started Kindergarten, he experienced bullying. He would cry and refuse to go to school, making me very upset and confused. I shared with my Home Visitor what was happening, and she guided me and immediately informed our Coordinator. They connected me with a Settlement Support Worker. I didn’t anticipate how everyone would take care of us and be ready to provide support when I was struggling. Thanks to their help, my son feels very safe and happy at school, and I am grateful for the HIPPY team!

For more information, please visit: https://www.sods.sk.ca/

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