Workers harvest grapes at a farm. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / gina_sanders. Workers harvest grapes at a farm. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / gina_sanders.

Project to support migrant workers to launch in Sarnia-Lambton

The North Lambton Community Health Centre (NLCHC) is getting ready to officially launch a program to support migrant workers after the organization received funding from Employment and Social Services Canada.

The TeaMWork Project is under the Migrant Worker Support Program and connects workers with information to access services and supports within the community.

"So we're hoping to do that by fostering inclusion of migrant workers through social, cultural, educational, and recreational events and provide assistance in accessing services available to support health and wellbeing," said NLCHC Executive Director Kathy Bresett.

The NLCHC received $240,000 for the fiscal year of 2023 to March 2024 to launch the project. Bresett said there will be an opportunity for renewed funding later on.

"We've been able to hire two workers, one is a navigator and one is project coordinator, who will help do most of the work and also there are resources to support some of the activities," she said.

The TeaMWork Project has already been implemented in communities such as Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex, whereas the project is new to Sarnia-Lambton.

"They've been doing this work for some time so we'll be able to leverage some of their successes," Bresett said. "There is a resource for us to also look at project goals and also some of the educational activities that are across our whole region that we can participate in as well."

Bresett said there are approximately 700 migrant workers in Sarnia-Lambton, many of whom stay for a two-year period without visiting back home during that time. So there is a need to connect migrant workers with social and physical health partners in the community.

"The health and safety of temporary foreign workers is critical. We’re proud to support the work of organizations like Workforce Windsor-Essex and the North Lambton Community Health Centre," said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough. "They empower migrant workers, ensuring they know their rights while working in Canada.”

A project launch will be held on Friday, June 23 at 9 a.m. at the Forest Legion. Bresett said as part of the project, other initiatives will take place in the community over the coming months, including a bike safety event in July.

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