“As we begin to move into pandemic recovery, learning enrichment programs like ours are more important than ever,” says Khamisa Maciek, Administrator for the Emmanuel Mission Youth Learning Program, Winnipeg, in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land.
What began as a summer school outreach ten years ago—serving students from kindergarten to grade nine who are newcomers to Canada—will soon provide year-round learning enrichment that will benefit students and their parents.
Emmanuel Mission received a category B grant of $15,000 through the Anglican Foundation of Canada’s 2021 Say Yes! to Kids program. It was one of eleven category B grants awarded, for a total of $134,000, or nearly 30 percent of the total funding request. “Grants of up to $15,000 were considered on the basis of impact, project scope, and how they supported the overall mission and service to children and youth in a city, diocese, or region,” says Dr. Scott Brubacher, Executive Director, AFC.
The expansion grant for Emmanuel Mission is scheduled to roll out this spring as the program moves to three days per week. It will allow children and their parents to experience learning and working together with others. Maciek explains that the parent component was identified as a priority because of what staff and volunteers had learned from the summer program.
“Many of the parents of our summer students have not attended school in Canada, and some may not have attended school at all.” The result is that parents are not always aware of the expectations schools have for their children, “Nor are they always aware of the kind of home-based support their children need to be successful within the Canadian school system,” says Maciek.
Currently, the program includes tutoring, math and language supplements, sports, singing, field trips, and more. Underlining these studies is the understanding of the importance of teamwork and camaraderie. Many of the students have come to Canada from South Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya, Congo, Uganda, Nepal, and Somalia.
A year-round focus, with programming offered on weekday evenings and weekends, will give students’ parents an opportunity to meet with the program leaders and other volunteers to learn more about how to support their children’s education. The expansion effort will also include an emphasis on mentoring younger children by involving the growing numbers of young adult university students who are part of the Emmanuel Mission community. “These mentors, some of whom have been involved with this program for a decade, are aware of the challenges the younger students face, because they have faced similar challenges themselves,” says Maciek.
One of the great rewards of Emmanuel Mission’s learning outreach remains the impact on language development. “Students come to us and are so eager to learn, and they pick up vocabulary so quickly,” says Maciek. “I remember one student, in particular: I was working with her on a craft activity. When we started, she couldn’t speak a word of English. Just a few weeks later, she came to me and was speaking English, saying, ‘Khamisa I did it!’”
“Emmanuel Mission Learning programs have given our children a sense of belonging and enabled them to be part of a larger community. They have set the stage to allow them to begin discussing, sharing, and envisioning their society in years to come. Such a discussion is critical to our children as second-generation immigrants.”
—David Mabior, Grateful Parent
“As a spiritual leader my greatest desire is to see these children grow into competent next community
leaders. As a community, we face numerous challenges in our process of settlement and integration, which is why this program is needed. I am confident that God will provide opportunities for continued success and am grateful for the support and goodwill of the people of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land.”
—Fr. Abraham (Monybuny) Chuol, Executive Director, Emmanuel Mission
Emmanuel Mission Learning Centre (EMLC) is growing a brighter future for newcomer Canadians by creating a place of belonging. Please donate generously to this year’s #sayyestokids campaign and help EMLC realize the dream of sustainable funding. Donate through: https://www.canadahelps.org/s/n4Dzk8
For more information about Say Yes! to Kids 2022 and how your parish, or a youth-focused cause that you care about, can benefit from this nationwide peer-to-peer fundraising campaign visit Say Yes! to Kids – Anglican Foundation of Canada or email Michelle Hauser, AFC’s Development and Communications Consultant at [email protected].
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Photos from the Grand Opening Celebration of the Emmanuel Mission Learning Centre on May 7, 2022 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church (256 Smith Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Photo Credit: Sara Krahn