INDIA RAINBOW – serving the community for the past 25 years.
India Rainbow Community Services of Peel is a registered, charitable, non-profit organization whose purpose is to strengthen the community by improving the quality of life of its diverse population.
It was founded in 1985 to respond to the needs of South Asian seniors and newcomers. Starting in just a single room, India Rainbow now offers services across five locations in Mississauga and Brampton to immigrants from all parts of the world. As a multi-service agency, it offers services that are non-religious and non-political.
This year, India Rainbow is celebrating its 25th year of service to the community. After a quarter century of reaching out to those in need, the organization remains fully committed to enhancing the lives of the immigrant community in particular. India Rainbow is governed by a 12 member elected board of directors, headed by the president. All board members are committed volunteers who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the organization.
“Newcomers to Canada face countless challenges when they arrive. India Rainbow offers many services that help them overcome these challenges” say Kitty Chadda, executive director. She has seen a steady influx of new immigrants coming to Peel, and the constant demand for additional services.
“The settlement program traditionally meant providing services to the head of the family who is seen as the bread winner. But now, we are providing services to the entire family, as the needs of women and children who arrive in Canada are very different from what support a youth for instance, who is entering the school system may need. We have to be sensitive to the changing family dynamics and offer support services that are appropriate, timely and relevant” she adds.
Settlement service includes orientation, referrals, translation, interpretation, networking, settlement and counseling workshops. Adult immigrants can access free English language classes which include basic computer training to develop communication skills. In addition to language training, clients learn life skills essential for survival in Canada. These skills include information about banking, health, housing, education, and many other aspects to empower newcomers with knowledge of Canadian laws and duties – in order to make their transition easier. Free childminding services are provided.
Finding employment in a new country can be intimidating. India Rainbow simplifies this process by providing extensive job search training, teaching them best practices and techniques that are effective in securing a position in the Canadian labor market.
India Rainbow also offers an Adult Day Program for the frail-elderly South Asian seniors diagnosed with long-term illness and/or disability. A full day program, with catered South Asian meals is provided in a safe and caring environment by trained staff. This program is offered five days a week. A Seniors Wellness program which is a weekly structured program for healthy seniors is also offered in Mississauga and Brampton. This program caters to Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil and Gujarati speaking seniors.
Other services include Child, Youth and Parenting program, which provides culturally and linguistically specific support and counseling to South Asian youth and families. Program for women is a core service offered at India Rainbow. This program covers crisis intervention/counseling, safety planning, assistance with legal issues, advocacy, and support group for mothers and children living in violence or in fear of violence, and referrals to community resources. The services are confidential and offered in a sensitive manner. India Rainbow has also partnered with Supportive Housing in Peel (SHIP) to deliver housing support services and provide case management to South Asian clients with serious mental illness and those who are homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless.
India Rainbow encourages and welcomes volunteers in most programs to help those who need the most. Currently, India Rainbow has over 100 volunteers that help more than 600 clients and 70 staff on a regular basis. Outstanding volunteers are nominated to receive recognition and certificates from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, besides being recognized at our annual events.
The organization intends to strengthen its membership base and encourages individuals from the community to become members and contribute their valuable skills and expertise. Membership entitles them to receive a copy of the quarterly newsletter, Rainbow Connection, as well as voting rights at the annual general meeting.
Funding for India Rainbow, in addition to the grants received, is raised through fundraising activities and donations. India Rainbow Community Services of Peel is grateful to its donors and volunteers and funders without whose support, we would not be making the difference that we are.
India Rainbow is located in Mississauga at 3038 Hurontario Street, Suite 206 (phone: 905-275-2369). The branch office is located at 9446 McLaughlin Road North, Unit 1 (phone: 905-454-2598) in Brampton. The organization’s regular business hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.