By Farms.com; Image from the Migrant Worker Community Program website
On Sunday, April 30, 2023, the Migrant Worker Community Program (MWCP) held its Health and Information Fair at the Roma Club in Leamington, Ontario.
Each year, approximately 20,000 migrant workers come to live and work in Essex County.
According to its organizers, the one-of-a-kind event was a perfect opportunity for migrant workers to mingle and familiarize themselves with the services available in Essex County and gain a greater understanding of the local organizations in the community. Over 400 participants attended the event, which featured more than 20 organizations.
The MWCP is a registered charitable organization based in Leamington, Ontario, that services all of Essex County. MWCP’s mission is to help build a stronger community by supporting Migrant Workers with access to educational, social, cultural, and recreational opportunities, while also helping them navigate available support services such as health and wellness, legal aid, and travel and immigration support in Spanish, English, and Tagalog.
Free services this year included blood pressure testing, glucose screenings for diabetes, and Covid-19 vaccines along with connections to legal, income tax, and occupational health and safety supports. Martin Varela, the Chairman of the MWCP, was on-site to welcome workers back to the in-person event, along with Jose Rodrigo Báez the Consul of Mexico, and Richard Lee of Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers.
“We are excited to organize our annual Health and Information Fair for the migrant workers,” stated Varela. “This is a great opportunity for the migrant workers to be aware of the services available to them in the community. This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of all the organizations offering their services. Migrant workers are an integral part of our community, we want to make sure they feel a sense of belonging during their stay in Canada.”
Added Hilda MacDonald, Mayor, Municipality of Leamington and Warden, Essex County: “Knowing where to go and who to turn to in our community is vital to keeping our guest workers healthy and safe. I applaud the leadership of the Migrant Workers Community Program and the work of our local organizations in connecting guest workers to the healthcare and support services they need to thrive in our community.”
The MWCP supports community integration by bringing the migrant worker populations into local life and activities, to help workers transition more successfully into the local community and feel welcome. The MWCP is often one of the earliest points of contact for migrant workers. The MWCP, through various programs and outreach initiatives, offered support to approximately 500 people.
For more information, visit www.migrantworkercommunityprogram.com.