Executive Director's Comments
The Regina Open Door Society (RODS) is a non-profit community based organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. The agency was established in 1976 by concerned members of the community who desired to see needs based settlement and integration services for refugees and immigrants. Beginning with one part-time position operating out of a local church basement, RODS has grown along with its commitment to provide client centered strength based services and support along the continuum of the arduous settlement experience. Having surpassed a quarter century of service to the community, RODS has established itself as a nationally recognized innovator of settlement services for newcomers, as well as being awarded the Citation for Citizenship award in 1998. As the lone refugee and immigrant settlement agency within the community of Regina, RODS provides a broad range of services to a highly diverse clientele including refugees seeking haven from war and persecution as well as all other classes of immigrants. The core client group of RODS consists of government assisted refugees (GARS) resettled in Canada through the coordinated efforts of the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as well as the efforts of sponsoring groups and assisting families.
The multifarious social issues addressed by RODS focus on issues relating to settlement, a complex process whereby newcomers must re-establish their lives and become familiar with a new culture and for some, an entirely new way of life. Settlement is process that a refugee or immigrant goes through upon arrival in a new country. The ultimate goal of settlement is for newcomers to be able to participate fully in, benefit equitably from, and contribute to the economic, social cultural and political aspects of Canadian life.
In spite of past adversities and future challenges, the staff and volunteers of the
Regina Open Door Society are witness time and again to the resilience of newcomers determined to build better lives for themselves and their children. Historically and to this day, refugees and immigrants contribute greatly to Canadian values of diversity and openness, and they bring with them a wealth of life experience skills, strengths and dreams for a meaningful, free and peaceful existence in their new homeland, Canada.