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Connecting newcomers through photography: Moyo Health and Community Services launches Newcomer Photovoice Project

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Connecting newcomers through photography: Moyo Health and Community Services launches Newcomer Photovoice Project

Launched in October 2020, Moyo Health and Community Services (formerly Peel HIV/AIDS Network) continues to collaboratively map the experiences of storytellers using photography in Peel region. The Newcomer Photovoice Project helps communities understand the lived experiences of newcomers that are often placed into positions of marginalization. Moyo continues to recruit newcomers and provide them with the opportunity to identify, name and represent their own experiences by using diverse photographic techniques through the Photovoice Project, A Newcomer Journey – Storytelling through Photography.

Newcomers will meet weekly for 8 facilitator-guided sessions to discuss and interpret their photographs while exploring settlement challenges and strengths in employment, healthcare, and housing to name a few. Our goal is to strengthen participants’ sense of belonging to communities in Peel region and increase their access to community agencies and supports.

“I think Moyo is uniquely positioned to provide support to newcomers in the area of health and wellbeing. With this newcomer project, we are hoping to reach a group of newcomers that are often left out of programs and services,” Kaminda Musumbulwa, Project Coordinator, Photovoice Project, Moyo HCS

For over 25 years, Moyo has provided a growing array of health promotion, education, social and support services for people living with, affected by, and at systemic risk of HIV for communities in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon. The agencies relationships to community service providers, academic institutions and networks will allow the project to thrive with communities driving it forward.

Moyo will also organize a Photovoice exhibit so local stakeholders and community members can engage with the images and narratives of the newcomers. This will enhance community understanding of the unique journeys and struggles faced by newcomers; especially for newcomers whose identities reflect that of those living with HIV/AIDS, African, Caribbean, Black, LGBTQ+, women and those using substances. Through this project, newcomers will collaboratively develop settlement plans with the Moyo team, consisting of one-on-one referrals, education, case management and support sessions.

For newcomers interested in contributing to this project, please contact project coordinator Kaminda Musumbulwa at kamindam@moyohcs.ca to register for the program at no cost.

Acknowledgment: This project is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

This article is sponsored by Moyo Health and Community Services

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