Catch da Flava Radio - Immigrant Women's Integration Program (IWIP)

For our December 5th, 2017 Catch da Flava Radio Show, host Erika welcomed back Geneviève Ramage to finish up their last conversation from a previous show in November. Then she discussed the Immigrant Women’s Integration Program (IWIP) that is offered at the TD Centre for Learning with some audio clips of past participants and their experience in the program. Then we welcomed in studio former participant and current graduate Maria Arteaga. Maria talked about her experience in the program, how she learned useful life skills and her experience in adjusting to a different country, learning things you never had to consider like “layering” her clothes, and even the term “layering.”

Maria currently works with the Toronto District School Board and teaches Spanish lessons at the TD Centre for Learning. She has shared about her unique experience from once being a student at the centre and now being a teacher. She has shared how the roles has changed the ways in which she responds to the classroom setting. As a teacher, she has learned to be more open- minded and flexible, adjusting to the varied needs of her students that come from different life situations and circumstances, some with a middle-class background and some struggling to find housing.

Maria even shared that one of her students she had met with just before coming on air with us was currently facing homelessness and had no idea how she would stay in the city, but with the help of the centre and the Spanish classes Maria teaches that provide a network of support and learning, her student has been able to stay for longer than she thought possible. This has helped Maria open her heart to the women she teaches as she sees the unique challenges people face, and the humility they exhibit when facing them.

We would like to thank Geneviève Ramage for wrapping up her last show’s interview and Maria Arteaga for sharing about her experience as an IWIP program, and then her role as a teacher.


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