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By Rasha Ashraf, Newcomer Women's Servicesnewcomer womens services

 

Newcomer Women’s Services is a nonprofit organization that provides services to recently arrived immigrant women, in areas such as employment, settlement, English language development and others. Our service population is diverse, which means our students reflect a myriad of cultures and ages. We have a substantial senior population and it is important for us to advocate the challenges that they face in life, especially in a new country.

Elders are vital members of our society, as they are an anchor from which the younger generation can learn and grow. Their experiences hold a wealth of information and they are a direct connection to our culture and heritage. But we often lose sight of their value and subjugate them to a life of neglect and loneliness.  

Too often when we speak of issues such as neglect and abuse, we take on a passive role and simply say “that’s awful” or “it is so unfortunate”. The most common response is to graze over the issue, never fully internalizing the reality of the problem. This video does not just highlight the issue but it puts real faces to it. These are real people. The visual aspect creates a powerful connection to these elders and helps us take their message to heart. There were, of course, challenges in making this video. From project management to transcending language barriers and helping our participants understand the concept of the video and get comfortable in front of the camera. However, the success of this video is evident on their faces, as we highlight what our seniors want to see and receive from the wider community. Featuring younger members in the video also reiterates our message: to change our perception of elders and to really make a difference, we need the support of our youngest generations. We have had an amazing response online as our video has close to 2,000 views on YouTube.

Our video seeks to raise awareness in the community and beyond by starting a vital conversation about the lives of our seniors. Join us today, so that together, we can stand up for elder rights and make it a just world for all seniors.


 

Related resource: Check out Newcomer Women's Services' Promising Project: Under the Mango Tree

 

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