We’re all feeling alone and missing family these days.
Imagine how much tougher it would be if you were an already isolated immigrant or refugee trying to find a sense of community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s a big reason for the relaunch of a successful local writing project for immigrant and refugee women that was forced to shut down in March. Writing Home facilitator Lynn Easton, a local writer and former Maple Ridge literacy outreach worker, said now is a vital time to reach out again.
“It’s a very tough time,” she said. “Especially for those who might be new to the community, or who are still learning English.”
This round of the free eight-week Writing Home workshops is sponsored by the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Literacy committee. Participants will write, share a bit of their culture, and safely explore some of the community if Covid-19 restrictions are reduced.
The group first gathered at the Maple Ridge Library in early 2020 before the first lockdown. After their community reading was canceled, they produced digital stories and a small book of their work. Most are eager to get together even if it is by Zoom.
“Some have already written about life in lockdown,” Easton added. “They are raring to go.”
The women come to Canada from countries from around the globe and have stories as unique as they are. Some are newcomers, some have been here for decades, and all have something to share, said Easton.
“It’s been wonderful,” she said. “We’ve explored what it’s like to leave home and create a new life. But we’ve also talked and written about everything from gardening to cooking.”
New participants can write in English – or in any language. There will be some English grammar tips and tricks but the goal of the program is to share stories in a supportive environment.
The Writing Home workshops will begin 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 29 by Zoom. There will be some evening sessions and drop-ins are welcome. For more information or to register call 778-554-8500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.