Success Stories

The Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network is one example of an organization that enhanced its community-based programs with donated equipment from Computers for Schools Manitoba.

Computers for Schools began working with Mosaic in 2014, providing 60 refurbished computers for Mosaic's LINC students to take home. LINC is the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada program that Mosaic uses to teach newcomers English.

Mosaic was established in 2009 when five community language programs came together to form a united resource network that offers parenting programs, health education, social networking and English language skill development to newcomer Canadians.

While Mosaic has several locations throughout Winnipeg, the computers are given to students at their downtown centre where 90% of participants are refugees who speak very little English. According to Stephanie Stetefeld, LINC Coordinator, the computers that participants receive through the program are the first they have ever owned.

For most of Mosaic's LINC participants, a personal computer at home is a luxury they cannot afford. One such student was a single mother whose four teenagers were thrilled to have their own home computer and the chance to be like the other kids in their school.

"Computers are a part of our everyday lives," says Stetefeld. "Our participants need to have computer skills to be a part of the world." Mosaic integrates technology into all its language programming, but it becomes especially important in the higher-level classes when students learn how to use email and use the Internet, for example when looking for a job.

By partnering with Computers for Schools, Mosaic has ensured at least 60 newcomers and their extended families will not only build their English language proficiency, but their computer literacy as well. Together these organizations help close the gap that exists between people who can afford technology and those who cannot, linking our diverse communities to the digital age.

"Canadian Muslim Women's Institute thanks Computers for Schools on behalf of our clients, and their families who received donated desktop computers in an effort to enhance their educational experience and enrich their social well-being.

CMWI is a not-for-profit organization. We receive donations of gently used clothing, baby stuff and other household items from community and other partnering organizations to help refugees and claimants. We also do different programs for our clients like computer classes, English conversation circle, Emergency First Aid CPR, Money Management, Drivers Ed, and Citizenship Test prep classes with the help of interpreters for our clients who have a lower CLB level.

Computers provide families a means to communicate with others, continue developing their English skills, search for job opportunities, and make connections. With a minimal purchase price, additional programs were installed on these computers by Computers for Schools to give them the tools they need to use their new computers to their fullest potential. Each time we received computers to distribute, we celebrated along with our clients who were receiving the gift and the impact of additional tools in the development of the community of newcomers and their descendants.

In the last 2 years, CMWI received about 200 refurbished computers and handed these to clients. We still have many new clients who have registered their names to get one and Computers for Schools have agreed to send us more. It's always satisfying to see newcomers getting settled in a brand new environment and able to learn English to communicate, move around and get jobs."

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