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A Closer Look
The Communauté des Africains Francophones de la Saskatchewan (CAFS); is a non-profit community organization subject to the 1995 Non-profit Corporation Act and incorporated in 2008. The CAFS gathers all the French-speaking people of African descent of Saskatchewan. Its mandate is to focus on welcoming, supporting and helping in the integration and inclusion of its members, and promoting their culture. The CAFS shares African culture with Saskatchewan’s people, allowing them to better know who its members are, where they come from, and the values they cherish, contributing to a meaningful dialogue between cultures which breaks down barriers and brings people together.
What are the programs and services offered by your organization?
CAFS offers the following services:
- Help newcomers to overcome language and cultural barriers,
- Raise public awareness on issues inherent to newcomers,
- Inform newcomers on existing employment sources as well as employment norms in Saskatchewan,
- Organize conferences and community meetings to address challenges faced by immigrants about integration,
- Share the African culture with the Canadian community, inform and working together with newcomers to guide them in their choice of education and schools and
- Provide information to newcomers about their health, health services in French and the health service system in Saskatchewan.
CAFS organizes events on an annual basis including:
Black History Month:
Every February is Black History Month in Canada and it is an opportunity for African Francophones to promote their cultural values within the Saskatchewan community, understand and support the contribution and benefits of cultural diversity, and promote cross-cultural interaction in Saskatchewan. Activities are aimed at acknowledging the contributions of black people in different spheres and domains in Canada and Saskatchewan, explaining the contribution and success of Africans in Saskatchewan. The overall aim is to promote multicultural values and activities that contribute to making Saskatchewan a better place for everyone.
African Cultural Gala
The African Gala takes place annually in March and provides an opportunity to participate in activities that encourage people to recognize the special contribution provided by African immigrants in Saskatchewan and demonstrate how culture helps in the integration of newcomers by promoting multicultural diversity in the Saskatchewan society, and share cultural heritage stories and activities of Francophone Africans with the people of Saskatchewan. This event benefits both the people of Saskatchewan as well as Francophone African immigrants, as it provides an opportunity for people from different cultural backgrounds to meet and interact with each other.
Recreational and other summer activities
This includes a collective kitchen that consists of cooking sessions with a nutritionist, soccer tournaments, youth camps, biking, curling games, picnics and barbecues. These activities are organized as a means to encourage individuals to participate in community activities so as to facilitate social integration. The target population usually consists of newly arrived immigrants as well as already established individuals in Saskatchewan. The youth camp activity targets children and adolescents aged 6 -16 years, from diverse origins and representative of the Canadian population. Soccer tournaments, biking and curling games are organized for teenagers and adults to promote health fitness, while cooking sessions are carried out with a nutritionist, to promote healthy eating. The overall aim of these activities is to promote social and cultural integration and encourage healthy lifestyle in new immigrants as well as already established immigrants in Saskatchewan.
Whom do you serve/target with your programs and services?
Our programs and services help newcomers who have language and cultural barriers to overcome. Events are usually open to the public and encourage intercultural relations.
What are you working on right now?
Black History Month is taking place in February. We have several events planned across the province including film screenings and discussions, concerts and dances and school visits. These events and activities provide an opportunity for African Francophones to promote their cultural values within the Saskatchewan community, understand and support the contribution and benefits of cultural diversity, and promote cross-cultural interaction in Saskatchewan.
For event listings, visit www.mcos.ca/bhm-events-activities
Do you have a call for volunteers, fundraising, employees, resources, and/or submissions?
CAFS is always looking for volunteers to help provide its programs and services. Funding is also welcome.
If you are interested in volunteering, donating or helping raise funds, you can contact the CAFS Coordinator at (306) 381-4399 or email Cafs.email@example.com.
CAFS hosts The Newcomer welcoming Day. This event provides the opportunity for newcomers of African descent in Saskatchewan, to come in contact and interact with people and organizations so as to facilitate their cultural, social and economic integration in Saskatchewan.
Please share a story that illustrates your organization’s impact in the community.
The CAFS organization understands that building a cohesive and inclusive society implies that immigrants (African Canadians) and Canadians get to know each other. Therefore, the different activities programmed by CAFS over the year, stimulate and fully support the advancement of multiculturalism in the main policy areas identified in the Canadian and Saskatchewan Multiculturalism Acts: cultural identity, intercultural understanding and issues related to social justice and harmony. The CAFS also provides ongoing services and programs that contribute to the advancement of multiculturalism in Saskatchewan.
What types of challenges does your organization face?
CAFS faces a lack of personnel and funding for our projects. We also do not have an office for the organization.