Classroom workshops offer support to LGBTQ youth in rural Quebec Social Sharing


A new project launched by the Association for New Canadians is working to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ immigrants and refugees coming into Newfoundland and Labrador. The association is working with the Rainbow Refugees Association of Nova Scotia to create Welcome Rainbow, which will develop training for staff and orientation sessions for those arriving in the province. “Learning about the services and supports that are available, whether they are LGBTQ-plus identifying or if they are family, friends or allies,” Suzy Haghighi, the association’s director of settlement services, said Sunday. The group is also hoping to sponsor five LGBTQ immigrants into the province, with the goal of raising $20,000 per person. Efforts took place in St. John’s on Sunday, with money made from the Global Eats food truck and pop-up haircuts from Seahorse Salon going to the project. “It would pay for their rent, food, all the basics of life,” Haghighi said. She said immigrants who will be sponsored by the program are picked by the United Nations, and have made asylum claims based on persecution due to gender identity or expression. The group wanted to get involved, Haghighi said, after hearing of the disproportionate impact the pandemic was having on LGBTQ people in refugee camps.

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