The making up or composition of a whole by adding together or combining the separate parts or elements; combination into an integral whole: a making whole or entire.

Why is there the NIC Program?

From working with different ethno-cultural communities, various community organisations and our animators we know that there is a large gap between living in a neighborhood and being actually part of it. The Neighbourhood Intercultural Connections Program (the NIC Program) aims at closing this gap by connecting mainstream residents and newcomers in their specific neighborhood. The NIC Program thereby works on a geographical level and not on an ethno-cultural one to focus on the particular neighborhood’s needs. The NIC Program is taking a Community Development Approach working in up to seven neighborhoods in Northeast Edmonton. It is reaching out to connect mainstream residents and newcomers through activities and strategies within the neighborhoods. These will be initiated by Community Outreach Teams, with the support of a Program Outreach Coordinator from the Edmonton Multicultural Coalition (EMC).

How can a neighborhood participate in the NIC Program?

How will the NIC Program work within the neighborhoods?

For each of the participating neighborhoods the EMC’s Program Outreach Coordinator will recruit people with different backgrounds from the respective neighborhood and set up Community Outreach Teams. These teams will – depending on the neighborhood’s needs and interests – for instance consist of the following members:

All teams will be centrally supported by the Outreach Coordinator. The Outreach Coordinator will recruit the team members, support the team’s work, provide access to relevant and useful training, connect the teams with each other to learn from one another, and will be the main point of contact for any questions or concerns from the Community Outreach Teams.

What will the NIC Program do within the neighborhoods?

The Community Outreach Teams, supported by the Outreach Coordinator, will set up strategies and undertake activities that will help to connect the people within their neighborhood. These activities aim at promoting intercultural connections, enhance social inclusion and improve newcomers’ access to programs and services offered by mainstream organizations. They will also help the mainstream residents get to know the newcomers and their backgrounds better and appreciate the value of diversity in their neighbourhood. For now at least two activities or strategies will be implemented in each neighbourhood to build intercultural bridges; one will be a social gathering activity, the second one will be a strategy to give newcomers more access to public services. These activities and strategies will be developed and brought to life by the Community Outreach Teams in collaboration with the Outreach Coordinator.

What is the planned timeline for this project?

This project will run from May 2016 to August 2017. Within this time frame the neighborhoods will be selected, the Community Outreach Teams will be recruited; activities and strategies will be developed as well as implemented in the respective neighborhood. The overall aim of this project, however, is to create Community Outreach Teams that will last, to give them the means to continue their work within the neighborhoods after August 2017, and to turn this program into a sustainable initiative within their neighborhood.