By Poonam Kochhar
I am eager to share with you that Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) eases the integration process by providing orientation to Canada sessions and by connecting you to a credible immigrant serving agency. You are safe in the hands of CIIP and their focal partners. I was confident when we left our homeland that we had made an informed choice of our city of destination, Edmonton where I now call home.
It all began when I received my Canadian immigration stamp of approval and with that I received an invitation letter to attend CIIP sessions before moving to Canada. I booked my appointment and went to CIIP for my group and counselling session. After going there I found it so useful, CIIP answered all our questions, which were troubling my husband and I. We were so comfortable and ready to move due to all the preparations which CIIP made us aware of.
CIIP newcomer care is the key which opens the immigration door and provides direction to assist one to help them become economically established and reaching the place where one is happy to call Canada home!
CIIP provides labour market information and helps you to develop an action plan with steps which lead you to employment in your field or related work. Right from your country of origin you can start planning and continue upon arrival in Canada with your Canadian employment practitioner.
I have faced immigration and understand the experiences one goes through; culture shockers, home sickness, no work upon arrival and the temporary living accommodations. Also the adjustment my children had to experience in a new country and a new school. Feel their sadness about missing their grandparents and friends. This is hard to swallow. I still had my strength and my confidence knowing that CIIP was there and checking in from time to time to enquire how I was.
Those who were affiliated with CIIP in Edmonton helped us in our initial stages of integration. We were invited for Thanksgiving, Traditional Christmas, and Heritage Festival. This was a real taste of culture. Also helped with grocery shopping and information we needed.
I have learned that CIIP brings to light our Immigrant Strengths through the session information, their direction, ongoing services and connections made for us here in Edmonton. I stand proud when I sing O’ Canada especially the verse which says: “True, North, STRONG, and Free”. I believe we the immigrants from days gone by and those of us today make up the strong in O Canada, which has and still is building our Great Nation, Canada. I can happily say five years later “I am proud to be Canadian”. I thank you CIIP for helping me to settle and integrate with your excellent services to me and my family.
Now it has been five years in Canada I am working in TD Canada Trust Bank and my husband is a senior sales associate in The Brick. Kids are going to school and doing well in their studies. By Gods grace we have our own house and a car. We also got our Canadian citizenship two months back.