“Building self-sufficient community”
A safe, secure, and self-sufficient community where every member feels that they belong.
Who we are:
The International Humanitarian Education Lifeline Program (iHelp) is a Canadian registered not for profit organization, founded in 2013, to address the inequalities both locally, and abroad.
We support marginalized and low-income individuals. We foster both community development and engagement, and additionally promote diversity through arts and culture programs. Our mission lies especially with vulnerable sectors of the population, including seniors, youth, and newcomers to Canada.
Everything we do begins with forming strong relationships; We believe in connecting people together, and to the resources they need. These connections also produce a supportive environment that helps in breaking stereotypes, building trust and improving overall health and wellbeing. Our organisation is unique because we integrate cultural considerations into all aspects of our programming, and are adept at tailoring experiences to fit each and every individual’s unique needs.
iHelp as an organization was built to combat racism, discrimination and systematic barriers through the creation of key programs and community initiatives. We believe in tearing down the barriers that prevent people from living the life they should, and work to do this with a sustainable, long term approach. As a result of our programming, we hope to leave people more united, confident and secure than they were before.
● Expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life for newcomer women by bringing them together under a roof to provide an opportunity to strengthen their social networks, reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, expand their knowledge of resources and services available in the region.
● Enhance and expand opportunities for children and youth by engaging them in healthy activities.
● Mentor and train unemployed individuals, and connect them to career opportunities to reduce the volume of stress, crime and social disorder unemployment brings.
Everything we do centers around the ideas of inclusion, and belonging. Our goal is to unite people and create both connections and mutual respect to avoid falling prey to often untrue, and hurtful stereotypes.
How we do it:
Our focus on building community leads us to run many programs with individuals struggling to create their own. We work with seniors, children, and new immigrants. These individuals often have a limited social network, and face financial constraints.
In our work with seniors, we currently run a project focused on fraud prevention, and another promoting appreciation for the arts. We are also supporting isolated seniors suffering from the harsh implications of COVID-19 with a local food delivery and companionship program.
In our work with new immigrants, we run a weekly Women’s Motivational Learning Circle, which empowers 70 participants a year to create a strong network of women in the area. Additionally, we run a community engagement program called the “Tafaahom project”, which offers conflict resolution and legal support services in partnership with the Afghan Association of Waterloo Region.
In our work with children, we allow children from low income families the opportunity to stay physically active with a soccer program, funding all costs involved so there are no barriers for any child to play.
Each of these programs were developed because of our desire to give opportunities to people who face financial insecurity or lack a social support network. There is a high demand for the projects we run, and we routinely have between 300 and 600 people attending the events we run for a total impact on 2,000-2,800 people each year.