The Christian Immigrant Support Services(CISS) wants to help first generation immigrants in Lloydminster.
CISS seeks to provide immigrants services including job resource training, especially in the oil and gas sector, education and living accommodation resources and English language training to remove some of the barricades to becoming a fully integrated member of Canadian society. The program does this through training courses, summer camps for kids and liaisons with immigrant families.
Executive Director Charles Balenga says the organization was originally in Edmonton, but he chose to move it to Lloydminster after returning from a missionary assignment in Africa.
“As you can see, Lloydminster is growing. I was here 20, 21 years ago and I can assure you now that I’m seeing more and more it’s no longer one group of people. You have Africans here and the number’s growing, you have Asians, the number is growing and so there is need for a response on how do we live together as people in different cultures and backgrounds.”
While “Christian” is in the name, Balenga says that the resources they provide are open to all people.
“All the material that we present is to support immigrants of all faiths and all backgrounds in English and French. We do it in the Christian principles, but all the programs we have run, the summer camps, we’ve had all faiths and all backgrounds. Everything we do is not just for Christians.”
CISS will officially be launching their services in Lloydminster at Southridge Community Church February 6th and working on expanding services as they get settled.