I was lucky, I move to Canada already knowing my boyfriend’s friends, had a degree that was recognized here to get a job and speak English fluently. Many immigrants, and especially refugees do not have the same experience when moving to Canada. It still took me quite a while to get used to living in Canada so I am glad to know there are groups like the International Working Centre in Hamilton.
IWC provides a broad range of settlement services to newcomers to Canada in over 16 languages at four locations so they are accessible to newcomers no matter what their needs or which part of the city they call home. They can help with simple orientations, settlement advice, English language training, employment related services and community connections to help build skill sets, volunteer experience and a support network in Canada.
Each year, the International Working Centre holds an International Marketplace. This is the 12th annual marketplace and is a two day event is an opportunity for you to do your holiday shopping with a social conscience. Not just shopping local but also supporting immigrants and refugees in Hamilton. You can enjoy tasty Middle Eastern cuisine, desserts and refreshments while you shop and listen to the sounds of an authentic Syrian band, Yasmeen Al Sham if you shop on Saturday.
Products at the marketplace will include natural skin care, jewellery, crafts, sewing, homewares, greeting cards, paintings, and more. It will also feature Ladida products, the Immigrants Working Centre organic, natural skincare product line as well as tea blends. Proceeds of Ladida products help the IWC do the amazing work they do, so worth picking up! The marketplace also encourages immigrant women craftspeople and artisans with home-based businesses to display and sell their products. If you can’t make it to the event, the IWC also sell their Ladida beauty products online here.
I tried out a couple of the Ladida teas today, True Chai Masala Blends, Ginger Spice Masala Chai and Green Tea Floral Blend.
Ladida Ginger Spice Masala Chai is a blend of Assam Black, Black Kenya Tea, Cinnamon, Cardamon and Ginger. Unlike many teas, you can actually see the ingredients, which is true for all of their teas.
Ladida True Chai Masala tea is exactly what it says. A blend of Black Kenya, Cinnamon, Cardamon and Black Pepper with large pieces instead of small ground up ingredients.
Ladida Green Tea Floral has a blend of premium fresh Green Tea, Croatian Wildflowers and Anise. Not the dusty green tea you find in many places put large furled leaves.
The International Working Centre’s 12th annual International Market is on today until 7pm and from 10-5pm tomorrow, Saturday December 3rd at First Unitarian Church at 170 Dundurn St S. They will be selling IWC Ladida products as well as products from other local vendors such as
- Candles from L’Arche Hamilton
- Henna Tattos by Nadia
- Crocheted hats, sweaters, blankets and mittens from Handmade by Grandma Salima
- Spanish books, hot & cold drinks from the Colombian Refugees Association