by Karen Tan
The Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians (MFFC) has once again received funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) in the amount of $25,000. This grant will fund our 2021 project, “Seniors Staying Healthy and Connected While Keeping Safe”. The project will run from March 29, 2021to March 28, 2022. This is a huge win for the Markham-based minority organization during a pandemic whereby grants are strictly scrutinized based on its importance to make a difference in the lives of seniors and in their communities.
Since its inception in 1989, the MFFC has grown to serve people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Our community centre, located in Markham, is inclusive to everyone and has programs that cater to various age groups, including youth, seniors, and emerging seniors.
The main objectives of the project is to support social participation and inclusion of seniors, promote volunteerism and engage seniors through mentoring others.
The “Seniors Staying Healthy and Connected While Keeping Safe” project will include an educational trip to Bala, Ontario, Ukulele lessons, Healthy Cooking courses, Social Media course, Alzheimer’s Disease and Prevention seminars and continue the existing programs like Spanish lessons, guitar lessons, Hawaiian/Folk dancing, ballroom/zumba/line dancing, yoga, Tai Chi, pole walking, choir and outreach performances to seniors and nursing homes.
An important program added is the Social Media Course which will prevent seniors’ social isolation in a time of recommended social distancing /self-quarantine by promoting computer literacy. The seniors can stay connected with their community and their family, including through smart phones/tablets and remote tutorials. The virtual activities, such as exercise classes, dancing, healthy cooking, Spanish and seminar on Alzheimer will use the Zoom meeting while there is a lockdown.
These existing activities are submitted due to increased interest from the community seniors, based on their feedback. Through this project, the MFFC expects their Senior members to continue to learn new skills, thus an increased overall sense of well-being, positive mood and mind stimulation.
The project will also provide capital assistance to purchase an air purification system due to COVID-19, smart thermostat, CCTV security system and fire extinguishers that are necessary to provide safety in the centre for seniors.