Settlement and integration experiences of refugee women in Winnipeg
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Women demonstrate remarkable levels of strength, courage and resilience as they persevere; navigating the migratory experience, establishing a new home and embracing opportunities to integrate into their new community. More times than not, this journey requires rising to the many challenges and expectations placed before them including learning a new language; sorting out how to navigate unfamiliar communities and systems such as transportation, education, and healthcare; and becoming financially responsible for their immediate family as well as loved ones back home or still in transition all while maintaining their parental and household roles. All of this is evidence of incredible tenacity and hope for the future, but the ability to endure is not without its challenges. This study contributes to the field of emancipatory peacebuilding through the investigation of formal and informal resilience factors impacting the settlement and integration experiences of newcomer women in Winnipeg. The purpose is to learn from the wisdom of community through a lens of cultural humility to contribute to the growth of settlement services and empowerment of our community. The research facilitated two focus groups of shared language. Data drawn from the groups was analyzed for themes contributing to strength and resilience as well as challenges to be addressed. Despite the separate groups, clear themes were extracted as the groups shared remarkably similar responses. Safety, spirituality, family, community, and diversity were found to be leading contributors to resilience. Challenges included barriers and isolation created by language, complexities in daily life including procurement of employment, navigating transportation systems and access to services and lifestyle and challenges to tradition such as parenting in a diverse community, and changes experienced in food and clothing sources. Despite the many challenges, study participants shared gratitude for their new home and for increased opportunities for themselves and their family. Interest was expressed by all to further integrate by sharing culture and experiences with their Canadian neighbours as they desire meaningful participation and joint community building.
- FGS - Electronic Theses and Practica 
- Manitoba Heritage Theses