About the Newcomer Program

Supporting Settlement through Healthy Living Programs for Newcomer Girls and Women

The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS), with support from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), is working on an exciting new project focused on building capacity among community, provincial/territorial and national healthy living service providers to better understand the needs of newcomer girls and women.

The goal is to better engage newcomer girls and women in healthy living, physical activity and sport programs, as a way to further their integration into communities and contribute to their overall quality of life.

 Intended Outcomes

For Newcomer Girls and Women
For Community Stakeholders
  • Increased participation in community programs and services.
  • Improved health outcomes through participation in healthy living initiatives.
  • Obtain knowledge about healthy living programs and services available
    in the community.
  • Enhanced personal and professional networks to assist with the development
    of friendships, education, and employment opportunities.
  • Increased awareness about the specific barriers and needs of newcomer
    girls and women in their community.
  • Better understanding about how to enhance programs and services to
    better serve newcomer girls and women.
  • Development of multi-sectoral community partnerships to increase the
    level and quality of programs and services offered to newcomer girls
    and women.


Core Components of the Initiative

1. Recruitment of Community Partners

CAAWS conducted an open call for community partners with an interest in expanding their engagement of newcomer girls and women and the capacity to commit to carrying out four projects over the course of two years. 20 partners were identified from across Canada. See below for more on the partners.

2. Focus Groups and Workshops

To increase knowledge within the community partners and to foster connections with newcomer girls and women, CAAWS supported the partners to do local consultations.

  • 26 Focus Groups with 381 Newcomer girls and women were conducted in partnership with the 20 selected Community Partners in communities across Canada. The focus group results were then shared with community stakeholders during follow up stakeholder workshops.
  • 20 Workshops took place with 262 stakeholders in attendance. These stakeholders were selected by Community Partners from various industries: public health, parks and recreation departments, local sports clubs, settlement agencies, multicultural associations, not for profit organizations and associations, and newcomer welcome centres. Each workshop was tailored to the specific community and included the relevant newcomer girls/women data and focus group results.

3. Community Projects

Each Community Partner, with the guidance and support of their Community Advisory Committee, is undertaking four projects to increase engagement of newcomer girls and women. The projects are taking place over two years, with two projects per year.

4. Community Advisory Committees

Each community partner formed a Community Advisory Committee following the focus groups and workshops. The Committees have representation from a variety of stakeholder groups to help guide the local projects.

5. Sharing of Learnings and Promising Practices

Throughout the project, CAAWS will compile and share the valuable learnings and promising practices acquired by the 20 Community Partners and disseminate them to the Canadian sport and physical activity system to help build capacity across the country.

Learn more about the community partners
Read our list of resources used and developed from this program