DIVERSEcity receives donation from New Horizons Village Society to build on programs for youth and seniors

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Councillor Brenda Locke, MP Randeep Sarai, DIVERSEcity CEO Neelam Sahota, DIVERSEcity Board President Bob Appleton, New Horizons Village Society’s Satnam Johal, Kulwinder Badesha and Jagmohan Singh, DIVERSEcity Board secretary Shara Nixon and MLA Jinny Sims.

Surrey: Today is Giving Tuesday, a global movement for giving and volunteering that takes places each year after Black Friday. As a registered charity with a 40+ year history, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society is pleased to mark the occasion by accepting a generous donation from New Horizons Village Society to support its programs for immigrant and refugee seniors and youth in Surrey, BC.

“Our mission here at DIVERSEcity is to inspire belonging among newcomers of all cultures and walks of life — and generations, too. Reaching out to both the oldest and youngest members of our community to ensure they feel connected to the community is part of what we do everyday,” said Neelam Sahota, CEO, DIVERSEcity. “This donation allows us to build on the programs we offer that improve the wellness and connection of seniors and youth, both separately as well as in programs that connect these two groups together.”

The donation will support three key DIVERSEcity programs that focus on reducing social isolation, building community connections, and encouraging mentorship between seniors and youth.

First, our Therapeutic Activation Programs for Immigrant and Refugee Seniors will reduce the social isolation that many newcomer seniors feel due to the inability to access health and wellness services because of low income and limited social networks in a new country. These therapeutic programs to help seniors receive necessary health supports will be delivered in partnership with Fraser Health and the Surrey-North Division of Family Practice.

The second program to benefit is our Intergenerational Community Kitchens, which will bridge newcomer youth and seniors together through cultural exchanges of food and traditions, while learning how to cook Canadian and multicultural healthy food. The sessions utilize hands-on cooking classes to teach new skills, visit grocery stores and learn about local community food supports for families on a low income. These intergenerational community kitchens build community through food and create mentorship between seniors and youth.

Third, the donation will benefit our Healthy Self, Healthy Families program, which provides mental health and wellness supports for refugee and immigrant youth, and their families. As many vulnerable newcomer youth experience many complexities, including trauma throughout the resettlement experience, this program provides the tools to navigate those complexities and assist with changing family dynamics, addictive and behavioural issues, affinity to gang involvement and mental wellbeing.

New Horizons Village Society, which today announced the donation of $125,000 to support these DIVERSEcity seniors and youth programs, was incorporated by Satnam Johal, Kulwinder Badesha and Jagmohan Singh with a purpose and vision to connect the seniors and youth of the Fraser Valley, irrespective of their cultural, religious or ethnic background to promote health, safety, wellness, art, education and housing.

“We started New Horizons Village Society to promote health and wellness among seniors and youth, including bringing these two groups together to connect and learn from each other,” said Satnam Johal, a New Horizons board director. “We decided that a partnership with DIVERSEcity, who is already an industry leader in providing non-profit programming with a similar vision for seniors and youth, was the way we could make the biggest and most effective impact in the community.”