Executive Council
Human Resources, Labour and Employment
November 27, 2007

Students Awarded for Highlighting Immigrant Women in Writing Contest

Sara Moss, a Grade 5 student from Newtown Elementary in Mount Pearl, is the winner of the $100 first prize of the annual Women�s History Month Writing Contest. This year�s contest was an initiative of the Women�s Policy Office and the Department of Human Resources, Labor and Employment and focused on the theme of the 2007 Women's History Month, Celebrating Immigrant Women in Canada.

The objective of the Women�s History Month Writing Contest is to encourage elementary and intermediate-aged children across the province to become aware of women immigrants and of the significance of citizenship in Canada.

Brandon Blanchard, a Grade 5 student from Torrent River Academy in Hawke�s Bay, and Amanda Brace, also a Grade 5 student from Newtown Elementary, were successful in winning the contests two $50 second prizes.

"I would like to congratulate Sara, Brandon and Amanda on their success in this year�s writing contest and thank all the students across Newfoundland and Labrador who participated," said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. "It is wonderful to see students become active in opportunities to be creative. Through this year�s contest, students had the opportunity to learn about immigrant women and the contribution that they have made, and continue to make to Newfoundland and Labrador."

The poems and stories that Sara, Brandon and Amanda submitted reflect the challenges and uncertainty that immigrant women face when they arrive in Canada and the support that many leave behind when they decide to leave their homes.

The Women�s Policy Office received 43 short stories and poems from students from across Newfoundland and Labrador. Officials from the office narrowed the submissions to five and the winners were selected by Minister Burke.

The Williams Government recognizes the important role that immigrant women play in this province by providing grant funding to the Multi-Cultural Women�s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador as well through the development of the $6 million Immigration Strategy, which includes the development of the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism within the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment.

"Immigrant women play a crucial role in ensuring that the entire family becomes settled and integrated into their new home. As part of the Immigration Strategy, the Provincial Government has identified a number of measures to support immigrant women," said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. "I extend congratulations to the winners of the contest and all those who submitted entries."

This was the 15th year since the Government of Canada established October as Women�s History Month. The theme of this year�s celebration reflects the fact that 2007 is the 60th anniversary of Canadian citizenship.


Media contacts:

Michelle Hynes
Communications and Policy Research Analyst
Women�s Policy Office
709-729-6225, 693-2125
Ed Moriarity
Communications Director
The Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-4062, 728-9623


The following are the winning stories and poems of the Women�s History Month Writing Contest:

The Journey, Crossing the Border

By: Sara Moss (age 10)

She trudged along the dampened streets
With nowhere else to go
She was too far to turn back,
And where she was she did not know.
She moved on and on without stopping
Not knowing how much further
Motivated by one simple thing,
Crossing the border.
Poverty and war she was leaving
Never to go back,
She thought as she moved along
Carrying her tiny sack.
As she crossed the border
She gave a little shout,
She had crossed the border to Canada
Without a single doubt.
A new life to live
To start again all new,
She thought as she promised
To live her new life true.


The Woman Who Came to Canada

By: Brandon Blanchard (age 11)

The woman came from far away
She had no family, no friends.
She seemed so lost and distant
I could not help but let her in.
She told me about how she moved around
And how she would like to adjust.
I told her that she�s more than welcome here
And staying is a must.
She said that Canada is a beautiful country
I think I like it here.
Different people, different places
No one can help, but they care.

Immigrant Women

By: Amanda Bruce (age 10)

I will be writing about Maritza Molina and her journey to Canada to celebrate Immigrant Women. I have chosen her for a very good reason. She is my aunt.

When she was growing up she lived in a small country in the Caribbean called Cuba. The province she lived in was Santa Claira. It is a beautiful place to live.

Cuba, as you may have heard, is a very poor country. She left poverty with doubt that she would make it, but luckily my mom (her sister) helped her start her life here in our glorious country Canada.

Her life there was drastically unfair. No clean water, very little food for most family�s, children could not be properly educated and most definitely no decent jobs. But when I visited Cuba, the look on their faces, they were so thankful for what they had. It puzzled me because they had pretty much nothing to be thankful for.

Then it hit me. They were happy with what little they have but we are so greedy. We have everything we need and extra but some families in Cuba or Afghanistan cannot afford to live. We should start caring and stop being greedy.

2007 11 27                                                      11:05 a.m.

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