Centre D’Integration Pour Immigrants Africains/The Centre of Integration for African Immigrants (CIIA/CIAI) is a non-profit agency formed in 2002 to facilitate access to services, information and job opportunities for immigrants of African descent.
CIIA’s mandate is to provide a bridge between the African immigrant community and the mainstream by assisting immigrants in acquiring the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to assimilate into the Canadian society.
In 2006 CIAI received funding from Service Canada to deliver job-search programs. We were also funded by HRSDC, Heritage Canada, Vancity and other private funders to offer programs targeting women, seniors and youth. CIAI is the primary host of annual Black History Month celebrations – recognizing the achievements of Black people throughout Canada.
CIAI holds a prominent leadership role within the African/Black community, being the only Black-owned organization and the primary provider of social services. CIIA’s New Westminster office provides the only centralized meeting place (easily accessible from Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond) for Africans/Blacks to access resources and acquire training.
CIIA offers African immigrants a place where they can develop job-ready skills; obtain information on integration, the labor market, education, housing, legal, community resources, translation services, cultural explanation & clarification and an understanding of the Canadian political system.
CIAI’s programs, resources, counselling and events – are focused on creating a level playing field so that its clients are better able to access opportunities in the society.Services are available in French, English, Arabic, Swahili and several African languages.
CIAI has made a significant difference in the lives of its community members. We have advocated to make changes in housing, assisted families in citizenship applications, provided a venue for youth to gain valuable job experience, formed seniors’ social groups to reduce social isolation, hosted churches and community association meetings and provided translation and interpretation services