The Federation of Francophone Seniors and Retirees of Ontario (FARFO) will create a program over the next three months involving its volunteers in the work of welcoming and integrating newcomers into the large Franco-Ontarian family.
Thanks to federal funding, FARFO, which already has volunteers in all regions of the province, will build a list of people ready to meet recent immigrants in order to answer their questions and introduce them to the practices and culture of ‘here.
Sensitive to diversity
“There are more and more retirees in our communities who have had the chance to travel the world and who are open and sensitive to cultural diversity,” explains FARFO Director General Gilles Fontaine. “They will be the perfect ambassadors to accompany newly arrived families.”
In the other direction, through the intermediary of FARFO, Franco-Ontarians could also become better acquainted with the cultural background of newcomers, in particular by participating in activities of their associations.
“We have already met some thirty partners who could improve, thanks to us, the experience of their clients who are newcomers”, indicates Mr. Fontaine. “It can be as simple as a meal together or an invitation to a cultural activity.”
We are talking here about institutions such as community service centers, colleges of applied arts, school boards, training programs, as well as ethnocultural associations.