Immigrants leave their home country, a familiar culture, and a community, just to create a better future for themselves and their families. Through their journey, they show determination and resolve.
Moez and Marissa Kassam believe in supporting immigrants after they work hard to arrive in Canada .
That’s why the Moez and Marissa Kassam Foundation donates to several initiatives aimed at supporting immigrants, from business programs that support aspiring entrepreneurs to programs that help refugees who are building a new life in a new country.
Institute for Canadian Citizenship
Fueled by a passionate and dedicated national network, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) offers programs and special initiatives that work to build inclusion and encourage active citizenship in Canada.
The organization does a lot of advocacy work on behalf of immigrants. During the pandemic, the institute launched an initiative to fight xenophobia by “sharing stories about how this crisis affects members of our community, tools and tips on how to fight discriminatory information, and ways to stay connected while physically apart.” ICC also hosts 75 “enhanced” citizenship ceremonies across the country every year, which offer the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be active, engaged citizens.
It also recently announced a new partnership with Windmill MicroLending where ICC has pledged a $500,000 investment to Windmill Microlending that will support 50 talented new Canadian professionals in putting their skills and training to full use.
“New immigrants don’t need more rhetoric about what a welcoming country we are. They need resources to carve out successful careers and lives here,” said ICC CEO Daniel Bernhard in the press release. “That’s why the ICC is proud to invest in Windmill Microlending’s proven loans that ensure qualified new Canadians can be recognized for their talents and get off to a flying start in Canada.”
Windmill Microlending is a unique organization that has changed the lives of many immigrants. Since 2005, Windmill has given microloans that help skilled immigrants and refugees pursue their chosen careers in their new country: Canada.
Relying on a combination of both public and private funding, Windmill is now the country’s largest and most successful micro-lending program for immigrants and refugees.
The organization gives microloans of up to $15,000. The money helps their clients in many different ways. The loans can help them:
- Obtain the Canadian licensing or training required to work in their field
- Secure a position that matches their level of education, skills, and experience
- Pay for exams, training, assessments, books, and materials, living allowance, relocation costs, professional association fees, and other expenses related to advancing their career.
A recent $500,000 investment from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship will be used to help more immigrants and refugees rebuild their lives and careers
Windmill also operates a blog that offers tips and resources for their clients, including this recent piece that shares success stories from immigrant women pursuing careers in STEM.
Immigrants and refugees bring new insights and new skills to Canada, improving the country’s culture, economy, and heritage. They represent the diversity that makes Canada a great place to live — reason enough to make their transition a little easier.