By Tina Meggison
For the Vauxhall Advance
On Nov. 19 and 20, the Southern Alberta Kanadier Association is hosting a conference in Taber at the Heritage Inn.
All service providers working with our Low German Speaking Mennonites (LGSM) from Mexico and other South American areas are invited to attend.
This conference will provide cultural information, networking and resource sharing for agencies and service providers.
Speakers have been invited from across Canada to share their experiences and knowledge on this unique community.
Authentic Mennonite food will be provided, so come with a hearty appetite and join us in creating a culturally sensitive world where we can empower, equip and grow together with our LGSM community members.
Having grown up in the LGSM culture, I can appreciate all the work that so many agencies are doing to provide access to resources and health information.
I came to Canada when I was four years old with my family and, not knowing the Canadian way of life, we relied so much on the many agencies to help us navigate and make Canada our home.
For so many of our families, language and cultural barriers are a very real and difficult thing, and together, we can make a huge difference.
My family – and so many others – only knew how the systems worked in Mexico.
When they arrived here, everything was new and different.
Thankfully, there were and are many organizations that help bridge those gaps and remove barriers.
This can, however, be difficult if one doesn’t understand where someone is coming from or what the needs actually are.
So our hope is that this conference will help service providers to become better equipped when working with our LGSM.
I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, having experienced it first-hand, each and every one of us can make a huge difference in the life of a newcomer to Canada.
I would like to say thank you to all of those who helped my family navigate and settle in Canada so that we may now be contributing citizens in this great country.
It is such a great feeling to be able to give back all these years later So, come and get to know other service providers, learn about the LGM culture, and enjoy some amazing food.
We look forward to seeing you in November.
Registration: Register by visiting Eventbrite: Cost for two-day registration: $70, one-day registration: $40 Registration deadline is Nov. 12.
The Southern Alberta Kanadier Association (SAKA) is a diverse group of service providers committed to improving the health and well-being of the Low German Mennonite population in Southern Alberta.
SAKA meets quarterly in southern Alberta and if you are interested in joining our SAKA meetings, please e-mail Tina at the e-mail address below.
Funding for the conference is generously provided by FCSS (Family & Community Support Services).
Tina Meggison is a Community Health Representative with Alberta Health Services and she can be reached at Tina.firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-308-8373.