Can you share the highlights of PeaceGeeks' achievements in 2022 and 2023 and what contributed to your success?
Absolutely. In these two transformative years, PeaceGeeks witnessed significant milestones, notably the expansion of our flagship Welcome to Canada app into Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. This digital tool, previously known as the Arrival Advisor app, has become a cornerstone in the settlement sector, embodying our commitment to accessibility, inclusion, and innovation.
The platform’s success is a testament to the dedication of the PeaceGeeks team, the support of our partners, and the trust of our users. Together, we've created a digital ecosystem that not only facilitates the initial stages of settlement but also embodies a beacon of hope and inclusivity in an ever-changing world. The journey continues, and our commitment remains steadfast in empowering new beginnings and building a more connected and compassionate global community.
Could you provide insights into the Welcome to Canada app and its role in supporting newcomers?
The Welcome to Canada app is a comprehensive guide designed to facilitate the smooth transition of newcomers to Canada. Tailored to the diverse needs of immigrants, refugees, temporary foreign workers, and international students, the app offers invaluable resources and information.
In the past two years we’ve grown the app’s reach from just one province to five; we’ve doubled our user base and added multiple languages across provinces. We’ve also broadened the scope of our app by adding the Compare Canadian Cities tool that allows newcomers to compare factors of relocating in 16 cities across Canada and counting.
We’ve established a practice of interviewing users of the app to better understand how they’re using it and how it could better serve them, and will continue to iterate on the design of the app to make it more valuable for more folks across the globe.
How has PeaceGeeks contributed on an international scale?
PeaceGeeks has been globally recognized for its digital ecosystem model, receiving invitations to share our work in Germany, Poland, Mexico, and Greece.
Governments, innovators, and settlement organizations sought our expertise to build and implement digital solutions supporting immigrants and displaced populations. This recognition underscores the near universal need for digital information and resources for people who have been displaced and the potential for positive change on a global scale.
What significant milestones has PeaceGeeks achieved in terms of app users and funding?
Scaling Arrival Advisor to become Welcome to Canada helped us surpass our three-year goal of 32,000 lifetime users. Additionally, in July 2023, PeaceGeeks secured a $3 million USD/$4 million Canadian global grant from the Accenture Foundation. This funding will empower us to integrate an up skilling and job matching feature into the app, further supporting over 200,000 users on their settlement journey.
We have been likewise proud of the support we’ve received from the Mariam Assefa Fund to partner with Immigrant Networks and settlement organizations in BC, Alberta, and Ontario to test a national mentorship platform.
Could you share some insights into partnerships and collaborations PeaceGeeks has engaged in over the past year?
The geographic expansion of the app would not be possible without our valuable content partners across Canada. These include longtime partner the province ofBC, Immigrant Services Calgary and Catholic SocialServices in Alberta; Immigrant Women of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Manitoba Start, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Pathfinders for Ukraine, and Tarjimly.
Likewise, our Immentor research project is based on a partnership with Immigrant Networks and we are grateful to be learning with TRIEC, Archway Community Services, North York Community House, Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Social Enterprise for Canada, and South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services, what a national mentorship platform could look like.
Our impact is amplified when we work together. We look forward to continuing to expand on our strategic partnerships with other organizations, agencies, and governments that align on our mission to build digital tools for more peaceful societies.
How can supporters and stakeholders get involved with PeaceGeeks in the coming year to contribute to our mission?
PeaceGeeks has long been a community of people who care about our mission, from volunteers to staff to board members. We’ll continue to ask our supporters to advocate for PeaceGeeks and the digital tools we make, on behalf of all newcomers to Canada and displaced people around the world.
Donations are always welcome, but we appreciate support in many forms. Our new Executive Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator has expanded PeaceGeeks’ capacity to engage with volunteers in a reciprocal learning environment. Our new Marketing and Communications Lead will invigorate our social media channels, so spread the word about what PeaceGeeks is up to. Your shares will bring the most amount of impact for the least amount of effort, and are greatly appreciated!