HIPPY Calgary at Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)’s mission is to engage and integrate all immigrant women and their families into the Calgary community.

CIWA is a non-profit organization established in 1982 as a registered charity. They are a culturally diverse settlement agency that recognizes, responds to, and focuses on the unique concerns and needs of immigrant and refugee women, girls, and their families. CIWA’s uniqueness is based on its gender-specific mandate.

They serve 18,500 women from all walks of life. CIWA’s clients represent over 140 countries and speak 135 languages. About 45% of the immigrant women CIWA serve hold a Bachelor’s degree or a college/trade certificate or higher and have professional work experience from their home county, while over 30% of the women they serve have less than 12 years of education.

CIWA offers a wide range of programs and services in areas related to settlement, language, employment and family supports to address the diverse needs of immigrant and refugee women and their families. Their services provide women with the knowledge and support they need to address the settlement challenges they face related to employment, community engagement, access to resources, English language skills, cross-cultural parenting, role reversal, and more. CIWA began offering Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) in Calgary in 2009.

One HIPPY Coordinator and ten HIPPY Home Visitors deliver the HIPPY Calgary program in the Calgary area. In the 2018-2019 program year, HIPPY Calgary worked with 108 families with 116 children from 29 countries who speak 33 languages.

 Insight into the HIPPY Program:

“A journey of one year makes such a big difference in one’s life. That I can see in my son’s life thanks to HIPPY”

“I hope all over the world all children can get the HIPPY program”

“Thanks to HIPPY, now I know how to read books for my children”

Success Story:

Karuna and Brajesh left their native Nepal behind with the hopes of pursuing their dreams and growing their family in Canada. The couple faced financial hardships, despite having professional jobs in their home country. Upon connecting with CIWA, Karuna and Brajesh joined the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program. They are the epitome of what a HIPPY family represents – a family who wants to provide the best start for their children by learning how to prepare them for success in Alberta’s education system.

As part of the HIPPY Program, Karuna and Brajesh received weekly in-home parental literacy and English language enhancement training, as well as Canadian school system referrals and family literacy support. To strengthen the family, both parents were equally involved in the program and supporting the successful education of their preschool-aged son Kaavya. Karuna and Brajesh also applied what they learned in the program to support the learning and development of their two-year-old son, Kaastub. The couple attended workshops hosted by the Cross-Cultural Parenting Program (CCPP), which helps immigrant parents cope with challenges related to parenting in a new country and culture. Through HIPPY, the couple also attended group meetings and learned about employment opportunities available for parents after completion of the program

For more information, please visit: https://www.ciwa-online.com

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