The Foreign Workers Coop (FWC) is a little venture with big dreams, and its members are working towards its big goals systematically.
“We do it slowly but surely. Running a Coop is serious business. In time, we want to be able to do what Vancity does. Vancity annually designates a portion of its profits to help fund some of the community’s civic and social projects or to help jumpstart small businesses. The Foreign Workers Coop has picked temporary foreign workers and live-in caregivers as the community we most would like to help,” says Crisanta Sampang, the FWC president.
In fact, the FWC has recently organized a successful fundraising walk in support of the temporary foreign workers. The group is currently running English conversational classes at a Burnaby library, for the TFWs in the Lower Mainland. Fluency in the English language is one of the important requirements for the TFWs hoping to apply for landing immigrant status.
As well, FWC Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ferrera has become a sort of online support person for TFWs who are in between jobs, or those who have arrived from another province in search of a second chance to stay in Canada. Whenever possible, Ferrera discusses their options with them, or provides them with job leads or refers them to temporary housing until they’re back on their feet.
The Foreign Workers Coop is now a year old, and to mark its first anniversary, the group is organizing a series of celebratory events: the Sports Fest in August, a rock and roll party in September, and the publication of a souvenir magazine.
Best of all, the FWC is also distributing a percentage of this year’s profit to its shareholders, and modest honorariums to its regular volunteers.
“We believe in sharing”, says Aurora Ferrera. “For more information regarding the Foreign Workers Cooperative of BC, visit us on Facebook or check out our website at www.foreignworkerscoop.org. Or you can call me at 778 322 0697.
The Foreign Workers Cooperative of BC is run by a Board of Directors with support from a number of different committees. Aside from Sampang and Ferrera, the FWC board members include Neriz Lagumen, Rhea Villavicencio and Michael Jamito for Administration, Membership & Information Technology; Winny Asis for Finance; Jay Medrano for Database Control, and Dindo Lagunsad for Marketing & Promotions.