BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Today, Canada has gained international recognition as one of the best Multicultural country in the world. Over 20 years ago, a Canadian Task Force on Mental Health Issues affecting one in every five(5) Immigrants and Refugees (CTFMHIR) commissioned by the then Honourable Minister of Health & Welfare, Jake Epp through the collaboration of Health and Welfare Canada, and the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism concluded that new settlers face obstacles during their acculturation process. Too often, newcomers are stigmatized because of their immigrant status and barred from what they perceived to be the mainstream Canadian society (CTFMHIR, 1988) leading to isolation and mental health symtoms.The Commission’s Report noted among other things that as a humanitarian society, Canada continues to open her doors to immigrants and refugees in order to meet national goals, and as a caring society we must recognize that our responsibilities do not end when we open our doors to newcomers (CTFMHIR, 1988). In an Executive Summary, the 12-member Task Force concluded that: “while moving from one country and culture to another entails inevitably stress, it does not necessarily threaten mental health. The mental health of immigrants and refugees becomes a concern primarily when additional risk factors combine with the stress of migration. In Canada, negative attitudes, separation from family and community, inability to speak English or French, and failure to find suitable employment are among the most predictors of emotional distress among immigrants. Persons who are adolescent or elderly at the time of migration and women from traditional cultures are also more likely to experience difficulties during resettlement” (CTFMHIR, 1988: i).As preventive measures to mental health, the Task Force made twenty-seven (27) recommendations with the hope that by implementing those measures to address the mental health needs of immigrants and refugees, Canada will not serve its own best interests, it will also affirm its status as a caring nation based on Multiculturalism. Today, there has not been any significant improvement in the mental health and well-being of immigrants Canadians. For instance, there has been an escalation of violence within the immigrant community lately; for example, the: recent Scarborough shootings in which two people were killed and 22 hurt in gunfire at a block party (Toronto Star, Tuesday, July 17, 2012); as well as the Eaton shooting where one person was killed and six others were wounded (Toronto Star, June 2, 2012) are some of the scenes we are seeking to provide alternative outlet for the youth to channel their energy..Based on the analysis of the 1996 Census, a study on the Ethno-Racial Inequality in Toronto for the Access and Equity Unit of Strategic and Corporate Policy Division (Chief Administrator’s Office); in co-operation with Public Health Services Social Development of the Community Neighbourhood Services Department; as well as the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement, it was concluded that:“The most severe disadvantage in community affects the African ethno-racial groups: Ethiopians, Ghanaians, Somalis and combined category for ‘other African nations’. They suffer extreme high levels of poverty. About 70 percent of their children live in families whose incomes are below Statistics Canada’s ‘low income cut-off’ (Ornstein, 2000: ii).The need to design and implement appropriate intervention programs within the immigrant communities cannot be over emphasized. The establishment of the Ghanaian Canadian Multicultural Centre was mainly to collaborate with municipal, provincial, and federal stakeholders and the larger African immigrant community to identify and find solutions to challenges within the community.
GCMCC OPERATES UNDER THE FOLLOWING CORE VALUES:FAIRNESS, FREEDOM, UNDERSTANDING, HONOUR, TRUTH, AND RESPECT IN PROVIDING THE BEST SERVICE FOR THE COMMUNIT