LONDON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
Following a successful two-stage application process, on November 25, 2014, the London Community Foundation announced the award of a Community Vitality Grant in support of ACFOLA’s Community-Based Income Generating Activities in London. This grant scales up a pilot project which ACFOLA successfully initiated under the MTCU funded Labour Market Partnership Program.
Community-based income generating activities in London (IGAs) address issues of poverty, unemployment and economic growth by providing opportunities to all community members, including the poor, to identify consumer products and increase aggregate demand and supply of such products. The concept is consistent with the notion that small start-ups have high potential to scale, and to grow the economy compared with large multinational companies.
ONTARIO’s MINISTRY OF TRAINING, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES (MTCU)
From 2013 – 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, through Employment Ontario funded a Labour Market Partnership Project (LMPP) to examine the economic challenges of African Canadians in London through a Needs Assessment survey and develop solutions to unemployment and underemployment of African Canadians in London and area with a special focus on self-employment and cooperative ventures. The ACFOLA Project team also provided bridging services by connecting individuals to services and agencies that will meet their needs such as skills development, resume writing, career counselling, etc. The LMPP also supported a Youth Empowerment Series that was held from November 2013 till January 2015 to address various personal, academic and career issues faced by young members of the communities.
ONTARIO TRILLIUM FOUNDATION (OTF)
Leveraging on the initial grant from the MTCU, the Ontario Trillium Foundation provided ACFOLA with funding to improve its internal capacity to provide services to the African-Canadian communities in London, Ontario. A Project Coordinator hired through this fund is responsible for identifying key resources and coordinating the implementation of various strategies. ACFOLA has been able to identify:
- the social, settlement, cultural and health challenges confronting African Canadians,
- existing services in London and area that can meet the challenges and
- the gaps that should be filled.
Through the information that has been gathered and the partnerships built across the city, ACFOLA is developing solutions with inputs from the community. In November of 2013, at the 2nd Moving Forward Conference, ACFOLA consulted extensively with the communities, service organizations and the city apparatus to discuss various options for Inclusion, Engagement and Integration in London for all communities. The report from the conference is available at: