I remember the first time I heard about the WE Value project during a lunch meeting with WE LIP colleague Hugo Vega.  He wasn’t able to share many details yet, as the project was still in its early stages.  But it was obvious he was excited.  And the feeling was contagious.  I remember wanting to be involved; to support the project in any way I could.

WE Value appeals to me for many reasons.  I am particularly drawn to the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach.  ABCD forgoes the traditional needs assessment (which focuses mostly on the problems), creates an ideal picture of what we would like to see in our community, and utilizes the skills and talents of those most affected to achieve that vision.  This approach aligns well with our journey at the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, as we continue to strive to provide collaborative, strengths-based service to children, youth and families who are engaged with the child welfare system.

I believe the We Value project has the potential to maximize the effectiveness of existing settlement supports, streamline processes, and reach a broader audience of newcomers.  WE Value also provides rich opportunities for organizations to share information, technology and resources that will be of benefit to all in our community.
Finally, WE value is about changing the narrative.  It reminds us that immigration is essential to our financial, economic, and cultural well-being as a nation.  When all of our citizens are well cared for, fully empowered and meaningfully engaged, the whole of our society benefits.  This reflects the community, and the Canada, that I am most proud to be a part of.

Charlotte LeFrank