Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS)

Newcomers’ youth sometimes have difficulty adapting to the specificities of the Canadian society, particularly for social and academic issues. In these cases, SWIS staff acts as a bridge between the school, the family and the community. The SWIS program has been funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) since 1999. It is designed to facilitate the integration of newcomers into the school environment and Canadian society. Through this program, newcomer students attending French-language schools can benefit from the support of SWIS staff.

Since November 2009, there are SWIS teams in several regions in Canada. Each SWIS program is steered by an advisory committee. This committee, which includes representatives from the school boards, settlement agencies, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and the Francophone Provincial Coordinator, meet regularly to address program issues and plan new services. Each advisory committee adopts its own operational guidelines, and each program has its own name.

Workshops offered

The SWIS offers several workshops throughout the year for parents, teens and even teachers.  Here are some of the topics covered:

  • Bienvenue au Canada

  • Le parcours d'un immigrant

  • Le système scolaire en Ontario

  • Les services d'urgences

  • La recherche d’un emploi

  • La préparation à l'école secondaire

  • Le droit aux services en français

  • Les bonnes manières

  • Amour ou amitié

  • La gestion de l'emploi du temps

  • La bonne nutrition

  • La boîte à diner

  • La préparation pour la rentrée scolaire

  • Les compétences culturelles

  • Les médias sociaux / accès à l'internet

  • La santé mentale

  • L'Hygiène corporelle

  • L'estime de soi...

  • Etc.

The CCFWEK provides the Francophone public of Windsor-Essex-Kent with the SWIS (Settlement Workers in Schools) service in French for Francophone families in the Windsor-Essex-Kent area. Our settlement workers also speak various foreign languages of French-speaking countries to facilitate contact with newcomer families.

You have just arrived in Canada? Make an appointment today with one of our settlement workers and take advantage of helpful advice and guidance for a better school integration of your children.

Rita Farah

Settlement Worker in Schools rita@ccfwek.org

Rita has been a member of the CCFWEK SWIS team since October 2017. A Canadian citizen since 2006, Rita was born and raised in Lebanon. She is married with three children, trilingual and has a degree in Business Administration Technology.

“My work is very rewarding at the human level. My goal is to empower newcomers and help them integrate into their new school and community environments.”

Spoken languages: French, English, Arabic

Christian Nkurunziza

Settlement Worker in Schools christian@ccfwek.org

Canadian originally from Burundi, Christian was still young when he arrived in Canada and like so many other new immigrants, he faced many difficulties integrating and adapting to Canada’s new educational system and culture. He received support from settlement workers, who helped him with his integration and to “find his way”. Today, Christian shares his 15 years of experience and know-how with newcomers (he worked at Globalive, Chrysler Canada, Hospice Windsor-Essex and Statistics Canada).

“My experiences in the workplace have taught me responsibility and leadership. I have always been committed to serving and helping those in need. As such, I occasionally volunteer with Hospice Windsor-Essex. I am delighted to be a settlement worker in Francophone schools, and I will do my best to facilitate the integration, fulfillment and academic success of newcomers.”

Spoken languages: French, English, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Swahili

Alexandrine Loiseau

Settlement Worker in Schools alexandrine@ccfwek.org

Originally from Haiti, Alexandrine arrived in Canada with her family in 2007. She volunteered at W5 and worked at Collège Boréal in the Settlement department. After seeing all the challenges faced by new immigrants, Alexandrine decided to offer her help as a SWIS at the Windsor-Essex-Kent Francophone community centre (CCFWEK).

“If my personal experience can be used to help new immigrants in their integration process into our community, it would be a step in the right direction. My goal as a settlement worker in schools is to make the transition much easier for students and their parents by working with them and directing them to the resources available in our community.”

Spoken languages: French, English, Creole

Saida Hamani

Settlement Worker in Schools saida@ccfwek.org

Saïda, originally from Tunisia, arrived in Canada with her husband in 2012. She has a degree in accounting and finance and a college certificate in management and leadership. Having lived the experience of being a new immigrant to Canada, Saïda knows firsthand the challenges that one can face in this situation and especially the importance and the relief of having a personalized support.

“Today, as a settlement worker in schools, I find myself in a field that I am passionate about, where I can use the different languages I speak, and also my desire to help newly arrived families in Canada to succeed in their integration.”

Spoken languages: French, English, Arabic

Jacques Lehani

Settlement Worker in Schools jacques@ccfwek.org

Jacques Lehani is Congolese (DRC), married and father of six daughters. As a refugee in Burundi, he was successively Director of the Commercial Institute of Bujumbura and of the Intercontinental Group of Bujumbura, functions that he carried out until his departure from Burundi. When he arrived in Canada in 2014 with his family, Jacques needed assistance to facilitate the integration of his children into the Canadian school system. He was relieved to benefit from the services of the settlement workers in schools, who helped him to enrol his children in a French-language school and followed-up with the whole family for a certain time. His passion for working in the community by helping newcomers led him to Collège Boréal as a volunteer interpreter-escort, and then to Place du Partage as Project Coordinator.

“Today, by working as a SWIS at the Windsor-Essex-Kent Francophone Community Centre, I am proud to be able to carry out a function that I have always been passionate about, namely being a bridge between the family and the school. My goal is to help newcomers, especially the new generation, to integrate smoothly into the schools, to give them a reference point, a compass on how to navigate their new life at school.”

Spoken languages: French, English, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Swahili  

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