Christian Immigrant Support Services (CISS) is an organization wanting support from City Council and other organizations to provide services to new immigrants of all faiths that call Lloydminster their home.
CISS was formed in Edmonton in 2009 and has made it’s way to the Border City in February. Founder and Executive Director of CISS Charles Balenga says that they are currently in the need assessment phase to see what they can offer new residents.
“We don’t want to duplicate what everybody else is doing so we’re talking to Catholic Social Services and other players in the City to see what is already being offered and what is still a gap.”
Balenga adds that from the assessment so far they have seen a gap in children and their school work. He says that helping children who are behind in school catch up to where they should be is a need and therefore they will be creating a homework club.
Other services that they provide include a multicultural celebration that allows people to showcase their culture as a contribution to society, conversation cafe where immigrants can have an open forum for discussion and summer camps for children ages six to 13 that runs for three to four weeks.
Balenga did a presentation at City Council on Monday as a way to make CISS known to the community, as well as asking for support from Councillors. He says that their goal is to remove barriers and build a City that is there for everyone.
“We are trying to work hard to see how we can collaborate with everybody else, including the City on how we can build unity among the different cultures that are represented in Lloydminster right now.”
For more information on CISS visit their website.