"Summary of Recommendations and Findings"
OCASI YOUTH PROJECT: RESEARCH ON INCLUSIVE RECREATION MODEL FOR IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE YOUTH UPDATE The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is pleased to provide a progress report on the two-year OCASI research on Inclusive Recreation Model for Immigrant and Refugee Youth. BACKGROUND The research on Inclusive Recreation Model for Immigrant and Refugee Youth was initiated after the observation by OCASI that, in the face of the numerous recommendations made in various studies that relate to youth in general and to immigrant youth in particular, there has been a gap in availing the wide pool of recommendations to immigrant serving organizations that work with youth. While a variety of studies have been undertaken and recommendations reached with respect to sport and recreational programs, and in particular programs for immigrant youth, there has been no follow-up to ensure that identified models are being implemented in community agencies that serve newcomer immigrants. OCASI saw the need to draw together the recommendations from the various studies and to disseminate a model developed from these findings among organizations that serve immigrant youth. There was also need for a feasibility study to establish the extent to which the given model was perceived by service providers as implementable in the immigrant communities that they serve. It was planned that OCASI would utilize its research capacity to document the research findings/proposed models and to share the research outcomes through its information dissemination channels that include the www.ocasi.org and www.settlement.org websites. PROJECT LONG-TERM GOALS The long-term goals were: To increase participation of newcomer/immigrant youth in recreation activities, as a consequence of strengthened capacity of organizations that provide youth recreation programs. To facilitate participation of immigrant and refugee youth in recreation activities. PROJECT OBJECTIVE The objective of the project was: To enhance take-up of recreation by immigrant and refugee youth aged 18 and below through identification and dissemination of information to sport/recreation stakeholder communities in Ontario on recommendations from past research and on recreational models that are currently being effectively implemented in the province. The 40 page report summarizes findings from a literature review on the subject of participation of immigrant and refugee youth in recreation, sport, and leisure. It details, more comprehensively than has been done in the past, the myriad challenges faced by service providers and prospective youth recreation participants. In addition, the report analyzes the benefits of, and gives recommendations for sport, recreation, and leisure programs. Balancing the needs and requests of a diverse group of service providers throughout Ontario, we have created a PROVISIONAL model for implementing a structured sport program, designed to increase immigrant and refugee participation. The proposed model takes into account the suggestions made in the various studies, in the focus groups that were held in Toronto, Peel, Kingston and Hamilton, and in a meeting in Belleville. The second year of the project, April 2005 – March 2006, will be focused on a Feasibility Study to establish the extent to which service providers perceive the given Model as implementable in the immigrant communities that they serve. PROJECT ACTIVITIES 2004-2005 The main project activities in the first year involved: Establishing an Advisory Group and organizing Advisory Group meetings Carrying out an extensive Literature Review to identify past findings/ recommendations/ models, with a view to establishing the key elements that contribute to the development of an effective sport and recreation program for immigrant youth Holding Focus Groups with key stakeholders (e.g. agencies that have youth program, community members etc.). Focus groups were held in Hamilton (organized and hosted by Settlement and Integration Services Organization – SISO), Toronto (Hosted by OCASI), Peel (organized and hosted by the Catholic Cross Cultural Services – CCCS of Peel) and Kingston (organized and hosted by Kingston and District Immigrant Services –KDIS). Observational visits were made to, among others, Belleville, with assistance from Quinte United Immigrant Services. In Belleville, this enabled project staff to sit in on a joint meeting of youth serving agencies in Belleville to observe potential youth networks that could be developed to enhance take up of sport and recreation by immigrant youth. Observation was also made of a recreation event organized by the Afghan Association of Ontario. The event gave insight into a successful ethno-focused recreation program. It highlighted potential challenges that include: Distant location across the city that could create a barrier to youth, with respect to transportation to night events Limited funding and other resources, faced by many immigrant service organizations. The event also gave insight into opportunities arising out of: Strong parental and community support with regard to recreation programs for immigrant youth An experienced recreation event facilitator and committed outreach staff Well planned and structured recreation activities that combine educational learning with other elements, such as drama Provision of opportunity for each youth to participate in a language of their choice. Some kids selected to communicate in English and could switch to communicating in their ethnic language as they wished. The Afghan recreation program was an example of a program that inspires the confidence of parents and the community with regard to youth safety. This is particularly because the program occurs in a venue (a hall) that is large enough to accommodate youth as well as their parents and other youth recreation supporters, while leaving room for the participating youth to independently recreate and mix with other youth without intimidation from parents. The elements ingrained in the Afghan Association recreation programming are common to those outlined in the literature as contributors to an effective program. 2 RESEARCH FINDINGS Findings from the above research activities and meetings assisted in the compilation of the Youth project PROVISIONAL Model that contains proposed features that assist in the development of an effective sport and recreation program for immigrant youth. Among others, the report lists the following as some of the benefits of sport and recreation: Peer group identity Cognitive development Social development Physical development/Personal health Emotional development Moral development and community connectedness Economic health The following are listed as some of the challenges faced by youth: Socioeconomic status and participatory cost Time constraints and changes in lifestyle Location of activity or community or lack of transportation Disapproval from peers or parents or parent's unwillingness to participate Unsuitable sport or recreational activities or services and unsuitable organizational structures or services Age and gender of the child Racism and discrimination Challenges faced by youth service providers are said to include the following: Lack of resources Underwhelming community and participant support Lack of viable recreation and leisure models Lack of knowledge among mainstream organizations about issues facing immigrants (settlement or appropriate activities respectful of beliefs and culture), potential initiatives and collaborations Lack of information (how to properly train staff to instruct sport and recreation, volunteers or coaches, methods and means to conduct proper outreach), what information is available is decentralized Lack of awareness among settlement staff, parents and youth concerning the need for sport and recreation Lack of human resources (capable volunteers or coaches, dedicated program planning staff to implement models) The report suggests the following as some of the solutions to the challenges faced by youth and service providers Increase collaboration and cooperation between mainstream sport and recreation providers and immigrant serving agencies to share information including best practices, resources, and funding possibilities through informal and formal networking Advocate for increased youth recreation, leisure and sport funding Increase outreach to parents, children and the community to garner support 3 The following attributes were seen as key elements in the process of developing an effective and sustainable sport and recreation program: Brainstorming - focusing on how the sport or recreational activity will affect the community Research - investigating community needs and wants Planning - seeking partnerships and exploring the best ways to share resources among organizations Action - implementing the plan including appropriate activities for youth leadership development Evaluation - quantifying the successes and challenges and sharing these among the staff, community, and prospective funders How do we more effectively engage newcomer youth? The following were listed as some of the important ways of ensuring that newcomer youth are engaged in the activities: Utilize effective outreach strategies for community, parent, and participant support Create a program which is inclusive (discrimination free and culturally sensitive), inexpensive, conveniently located, and age and gender appropriate Integrate leadership activities into program and organizational activities Involve the community and support grass roots programs Clearly delineate program mission and goals for youth and colleagues ACTIVITIES FOR PHASE II OF THE PROJECT (APRIL 2005-MARCH 2006) The second year of the project (April 2005-March 2006) entails undertaking a study to test the Feasibility of the PROVISIONAL Immigrant Youth Sports and Recreation Program Model. The Feasibility Study will be carried out in collaborating agencies in three regions. The collaborating agencies will be selected, after consultations with stakeholders, from agencies that currently have a youth program, and that serve communities identified as having need for increased response to sport and recreation programs due to the current multiple barriers faced by immigrant children and youth. The Feasibility Study will include: - Looking into challenges likely to be faced in the implementation of the Model - Identifying what needs to be developed as part of the suggested Model - Determining the cost effectiveness of the Model and identifying ways of resourcing for the model to work effectively - Finalizing the check list for essential attributes of a sport and recreation program for immigrant youth - Interviewing selected researchers of past studies - Consulting with youth to get their input into the final model. Request for Youth Involvement In this respect, OCASI is requesting immigrant serving organizations to encourage and to support youth to participate in focus group discussion to make input in the development of the Immigrant Youth Sports and 4 Recreation Program Model and in the discussions relating to immigrant youth leadership development and training in the area of sport and recreation. THE ROLE OF THE COLLABORATING AGENCIES The role of the collaborating agencies will be to test the developed Provisional Model. The selected agency will: Participate in discussion as part of the Advisory Group which will be comprised from the larger stakeholder community Participate in the analysis of project outcomes and provide input in the development of the Final Immigrant Youth Sports and Recreation Program Model Participate in the Study to test the Feasibility of the Provisional Immigrant Youth Sports and Recreation Program Model Develop outreach and other strategies to ensure youth interest and participation Seek financial/in-kind contributions and commit to pilot the model. Agencies’ time will be considered as in-kind contribution to the project. THE CONTINUING ROLE OF THE PROJECT ADVISORY GROUP Representatives from agencies that serve youth from immigrant communities are encouraged to join the Advisory Group for this project, which OCASI views as an important initiative to enhance recreational services to immigrant youth. The role of the Advisory Group is to: - Provide overall direction to the project to ensure the accomplishment of project goals and objectives - Ensure that the project outcomes enhance accessibility to and quality of immigrant youth sport and recreation services - Provide advice on participating communities/organizations - Meet regularly to review progress and provide direction on various aspects of the study. Meetings will be mainly by teleconference. EXPECTED OUTCOMES Better information on past research outcomes, recommendations and recreation models Better knowledge about current best practice Better knowledge and understanding of features that make for successful recreation programs Better knowledge and understanding of effective outreach strategies A Tested Model in three selected locations in Ontario Increased participation of youth community recreation Increased parental involvement Sector support for the participating agencies More wide dissemination of information and improved resources relating to the implementation of Recreation Model for immigrant and refugee youth. 5 HOW VARIOUS STAKEHOLDERS CAN PARTICIPATE IN PHASE II OCASI wishes to express appreciation to all the organizations and individuals that have contributed to this project so far and that continue to serve on the Advisory Group. OCASI welcomes additional contributors to make input and to participate in phase II of this project through any of the following: - Indicate if your agency serves immigrant youth and if you wish to propose a member of staff from your agency to participate as an additional member of the Project Advisory Group for phase II of the project - Indicate if your agency would like to work collaboratively with OCASI to test the Feasibility of the proposed Model - Identify youth that you serve to participate on the Advisory Group and/or to participate in the development of the Immigrant Youth Sports and Recreation Program Model - Provide relevant information on studies that have been carried out with respect to immigrant youth to facilitate this study To indicate interest in joining the Youth Project Advisory Group, to express interest in being one of the collaborating agencies for the Feasibility Study, or to indicate interest in proposing youth to participate in the project, please complete the supplied form and fax or E-mail it to project staff as soon as possible. Special thanks to the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation for their financial contribution for this project. Please address all responses and inquiries to: Lily Mumbana Bilingual Project Assistant OCASI 110 Eglinton Ave. West Suite 200 Toronto M4R 1A3 Tel: (416) 322-4950 Ext. 237 Fax: (416) 322-8084 E-mail: email@example.com And Immaculate Tumwine Project Coordinator OCASI 110 Eglinton Ave. West Suite 200 Toronto M4R 1A3 Tel: (416) 322-4950 Ext. 285 Fax: (416) 322-8084 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 6 Current Members of the Advisory Group Wali Farah Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), Ottawa (Chair) Qaseem Ludin Afghan Association of Ontario, Toronto Joe Boateng Jamaican Canadian Association, Toronto Loly Rico FCJ Hamilton House Refugee Project, Toronto Joyce David Kingston & District Immigrant Services, Kingston Loyd Kibaara Settlement & Integration Services Organization (SISO), Hamilton Bianca Di Nardo The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County (MCC), Windsor Brenda Parris Catholic Cross Cultural Services – Peel Region Aislinn Clancy Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA - CrossCultural and Community Services Penny Ross Ysan Grow (YMCA of Hamilton Burlington) Jahan Zeb Immigrant Culture Art Association, Hamilton Anna Lee Boschetto University Settlement, Toronto Seevgul Topkara- Sarsu Wood Green Community Services, Immigrant Services Orlando Ferro Quinte United Immigrant Services, Belleville Staff Members Paulina Maciulis – Project Manager Kelven Goodridge Lily Mumbana Immaculate Tumwine See follow this link for the Participation Form 7