Sunday May 12, 2019
Leo Johnson founded the organization. He came to Canada by himself, from a refugee camp in West Africa. Separated from his family, and fleeing terrible violence during the bloody civil war in his native Liberia. Johnson says newcomers face challenges learning how to live in Canada, and he wanted to help.
A pair of sisters born on the other side of the world, brought by their parents from Somalia seven years ago now thriving in Canada, thanks to some extra help from a Hamilton charity. Nimo and her younger sister Fardosa attend academic programs at Empowerment Squared designed to help with homework and develop skills.
This young family is also getting help the parents are learning new computer skills to help find work after fleeing turmoil in Venezuela almost three years ago. She also just received a $1,000 grant from the organization, to help her pay for a course at Mohawk College. Just one of the ways Empowerment Squared helps newcomers.
About 1,500 children between the ages of 6 and 21 have taken programs here and more than 100 parents have taken classes in language and digital literacy. The courses are free paid for by fundraising and taught entirely by volunteers. Empowerment Squared assesses every student when they begin, offering a unique curriculum based on their needs.
It’s an individualized approach that developed from one man’s experience seeking a better life in a far away land. A helping hand that his mother is very proud of after reuniting with her son years after his escape from Liberia.