Outreach Program is a service provided by the ICA which offers a friendly welcome and a 'taste of home', to individuals and families of East Indian origin who are new to the Waterloo Region (Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surroundig area). As part of our mandate, we recognize the need to share a common heritage with others of East Indian background and so have implemented the Outreach Program.

The Outreach Program was founded in 2005 by Board members Koki Khanna, Chandrika Anjaria, Ian Mendes and Uma Arya, with the assistance of Dr. Lorie Saxby, a Waterloo neuropsychologist, as part of an MBA course requirement. The goal of her graduate school project, begun in January 2005, was to work with the ICA to make a long-term change in the organization which would be of societal value.

The project evolved, over several months of hard work by the ICA, into the current program, launched in May 2005, with final approval by the Board. The Outreach Program is available to anyone who has moved to our region and who would like to connect with others of East Indian heritage. Our volunteers meet with newcomers for a social time of fellowship, a cup of tea and perhaps a meal. This meeting provides a chance for newcomers to ask questions about the local East Indian community, resources and social activities, including the ICA. The ICA outreach program is unique; we are not aware of any other organization offering similar service.

Accessing the Outreach Program: If you are new to the region, and would like to meet with one of our volunteers, please contact Uma Arya at 519-888-0452.

Volunteer Opportunities: The Outreach Program is a wonderful opportunity to help a newcomer feel welcome and connected with our community. We are always looking for volunteers to help us in this worthwhile endeavour. Your contribution may range from a single 'welcome&339; meeting with one new family to working with a number of newcomers. We are also looking for volunteers who may not currently be able to serve as a host/hostess, but who want to help in other ways, such as by distributing posters or liaising between newcomers and volunteer hosts/hostesses. If you are interested in serving and being part of this rewarding experience, please contact Chandrika Anjaria, Uma Arya, or Kokila Khanna.