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In Focus

U Multicultural is appointed by The Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) to implement the Local Journalism Initiative on behalf of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

“I love video editing and covering stories, which is why I decided to enroll in the Broadcast Media Program. I’m hoping to put the Winnipeg community in the focus of my stories and join together to address the local civic issues.”

The initiative is funded by the Government of Canada and administered by CACTUS

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latest episodes

Starting a business can be tricky and a struggle as well. You don’t have a clue on how to start it up and how to get customers. For James Berena, it was an initial dream to own and be working at a cleaning company. But he worked hard and now owns Truly Fresh, and he is his boss.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron interviews the owner and founder Truly Fresh on how he started his company and his struggles to grow a customer base. Truly Fresh is an office janitorial service that gives an excellent experience. His father retired after working as an environmental cleaner for 26 years at Seven Oaks General Hospital, and now he is the head cleaner at Truly Fresh. Truly Fresh mission is to deliver a quality green clean every time. With COVID-19 affecting a lot of the business, it also affected Truly Fresh business. Since many offices and businesses are working from home, and they have lost a lot of business. But they are doing their best to grow as a company and get more customers while still following the COVID-19 restrictions.

Want to learn about Truly Fresh and wanna hear their story? Check them out at https://www.trulyfresh.ca/

With COVID-19 changing our daily lives, we have to adjust to the government’s restrictions. But we forgot that the most affected by the virus are the hospitals and emergency rooms. They have been busy trying to care for the sick who are fully packed in hospitals. They had to postpone some surgeries because they had to make room for patients who have contracted COVID-19. This slows down to surgeries, has made Ronald Mcdonald House even busier because they have to hold families and their kids even longer.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural hosted by Mark Aaron, he interviewed the CEO of Ronald Mcdonald House Charity Manitoba, Wendy Galagan. Ronald Mcdonald House is an organization that keeps families together. It’s a home-away-from-home and other services for critically ill, chronically ill, seriously injured children and their families. The house is a warm, supportive and welcoming space where families stay close, be together and connect in a compassionate and supportive environment. If you want to help this fantastic foundation, visit https://www.rmhcmanitoba.org/ to donate to this fundraiser.

Wanting to start a new life can be a struggle for anyone especially moving into a new country. They usually move here by themselves and don’t know the other country or have any additional resources. They have to go through so many customs have to go through.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron sat down with Kranti Chopra, an immigrant who moved here to India to Canada to create a new life. He now helps immigrants moving here wanting to live a better life. He knows every struggle all immigrants face from dealing with paperwork, being eligible to work here, and not having any money. Luckily for him, his brother and mom had already moved here. He had a place to stay and knew someone who lives in the city. He now helps people immigrant here from doing all the paperwork. He is the director of EEP Immigration Services. Their job is to understand the students’ requirements in terms of their previous qualification, their family’s financial background, interest, future goals, and a combination of such factors and help the student choose the right choice. They believe that immigration should be easy for you so you can better future. .

The world has been in disarray as of late, and we’ve forgotten to care about the earth. There are minor changes in our lives that make our planet a better place. We can recycle every day, but we need to make changes. At Green kids Inc. they teach children and youth about environmental issues, and they inspire them to be tomorrow’s environmental leaders.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron interviews Green Kids Inc. about how they play to change young people’s minds at an early age about the environment and how they are the future of the earth keep it safe. Their mission is to educate children and teachers on environmental issues and to inspire them to take positive action towards protecting our environment. Ecological problems are complicated to connect to young minds. What Green Kids inc does is teach young minds through theatre and entertainment. Green Kids have talked about habitat preservation, waste reduction, personal health and welfare, wildlife conservation, sustainable daily habits, organic gardening, agriculture and our world’s water supply. They have performed for more than 1.4 million children and more than 1,400 schools across Canada and the USA.

Want to help out this fantastic charity group?
https://www.greenkids.com/ for more information.

For the longest time, we were such into the custom of going to work or school every day. But with COVID-19, that changed everything, people losing jobs, and students have to learn at home. It’s challenging for grade 12 students both this and last year because they didn’t get the high school experience they were hoping for or typical graduation.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural hosted by Mark Aaron, he sat down with a former Winnipeg High School student who, in her first year, is in College at Humber College in Toronto but can’t learn to go to Toronto because of the COVID-19. Zoeline Bonnee graduated last year from Collège Béliveau . She didn’t get to see her friend or get to graduate with her full class. Schools have cancelled all sports teams as well. Zoeline also wanted to study in Toronto at Humber College to learn more about the film industry. But she couldn’t go to school there because of classroom restrictions, and there’s only one person in a class, so she decided to stay in Winnipeg and learn through zoom online. Hopefully, once COVID-19 lightens up, she can move to Toronto and learn and get a better experience there.

Poverty has been a big issue within our society. A state or condition in which a person or community lacks the financial resources and essentials for a minimum standard of living. Providing food and shelter is hard for people who live in poverty. They either choose one or the other and most of the time they will choose food. Habitat for Humanity recognizes this problem, and they build affordable houses for purchases by low-income working families.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, our Host Mark Aaron got an interview with the Vice President of Habitat for Humanity Manitoba, Michelle Pereira. Habitat for Humanity Manitoba is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing by building safe, decent, affordable homes for purchase by low-income working families. They choose families that are in poverty and determine which family is best suitable for the homes. As of 2019, they have had 5000 volunteers contributing to building 23 homes for 26 families to help build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.

If you want to support Habitat for Humanity Manitoba by donating to them, visit the website https://www.habitat.mb.ca/ for more information. As well check their Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/HabitatforHumanityManitoba

With all the things that are happening today, from all the hate and the COVID-19 virus, we tend to forget that people still struggling with severe medical conditions are struggling before COVID-19 started. At the Dream Factory, they are working hard to help kids with medical conditions to make their dream comes true while in these difficult times.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural hosted by Mark Aaron, he interviews the Executive Director of Dream Factory, Howard Koks. At The Dream Factory, their mission statement makes dreams come true for kids in Manitoba battling life-threatening illnesses. They exist to be sources of joy, laughter and hope for kids and families in our province going through a challenging experience. Since 1983, they have been working hard to granting to families in Manitoba battling life-threatening illnesses. They nearly made 800 dreams come true through love and support. Even though a difficult time last year, they still made 18 dreams come true. But they still need your help to make these kids’ dreams come true.

If you want to help by donating or for information about this fantastic charity, visit their website at https://www.thedreamfactory.ca/

Immigrating to a new country can be a challenge for international students, either with their family or themselves. You don’t have the resource or the knowledge of this new land, and you feel all alone. You don’t know the process of moving what qualification you need to move here. Sometimes, the things you learn or classes you took in your old country don’t match Canadian qualifications. That’s why Daniel Peimbert started Great Start Canada, a business to help immigrants get their first step in moving here.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, our host Mark Aaron sat down with Daniel Peimbert to discuss the organization and Daniel’s hopes for the future. Daniels’s goal in Great Start Canada is to provide professional and honest advice and representation that all immigrants can rely upon. Daniel has been a Canadian citizen for a long time now, and he moved here to Winnipeg from Mexico by himself. He knows the struggles he faced when moving here. Daniel wants to share his knowledge that he learned moving here to help those who want to start a better life here in Canada. Their job is to take away the stress and closely work with immigrants to meet their goals moving here.

There are many reasons why someone would want to relocate from their home country, an oppressive government or wanting to start a new life for your children, so they don’t have to face the same struggles you did as a child. However, when moving to a new country, there are challenges when you may already face when landing here. Often you may not know anyone in this new land and have to face challenges alone, not knowing the city or where to get stuff done. There may also be cultural barriers, feeling like a social outcast, overwhelmed about learning about and adjusting to the various cultures found here in Canada.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron speaks with Prairies Sky Immigration Rosanna Pancotto. Rosanna wanted to help immigrants move to Canada to be smooth and easy as possible. Prairie Sky Immigration is designed to help immigration procedures by offering an all-inclusive, efficient and effective service to help you cope with the Canadian Immigration system, so you don’t have to and start being a Canadian citizen. She has helped many people with their struggles, from families to students. She also knows how to handle all the immigration paperwork.

Before COVID-19 had started, Big Brother Big Sister was busy mentoring and shaping young minds. They could do in-person interactions by playing catch, walking together, talking in person, and the mentors were helping with youth with their homework. These small interactions help youth from bad homes or don’t have a role model to help them grow and become better people. But with all the COIVD-19 restrictions, they had to adjust how they were mentoring to online learning.

In this episode of In Focus By U Multicultural, Mark Aaron sat down with the executive director of Big Brother Big Sister of Winnipeg, Evan Maydaniuk, on how COVID-19 affects them.

Big Brother Big Sister of Winnipeg provides programs and services to 650-700 youth per year, providing life-changing mentoring since 1912. It was named One of Financial Post’s Top 25 Charities in 2016 and still going strong today. In Canada, many youths struggle with societal barriers and face adversities in their young lives like living conditions, family violence, risk factors for mental health, school issues and identity challenges. With the help of Big Brother Big Sister of Canada. The mentors help the youth through these difficult times.

If you want to help by donating, know someone who needs a mentor or want to become a mentor, visit their website at https://winnipeg.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.

Mental health continues to be a big issue within our society today, and COVID-19 has taken a mental toll on everyone. There has been an increasing number of homeless people in Winnipeg because of the virus not allowing people to work or stay in shelter homes.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron sat down with the Executive Director of Sccope Inc, Angela McCaughan. A non-profit since 1991, Sscope is a registered charity that employs people living with a mental health illness through their environmentally friendly social enterprise ventures. They provide training, casual and part-time employment through their diverse green business stream to those overcoming and managing a mental illness. Sscope offers unique, valuable and affordable services to the community by providing gainful casual employment. This renders an avenue for our member employees to integrate into the mainstream workforce. Their business reduces the overall cost of health care by providing non-medical rehabilitation for individuals living with mental illness while at the same time increasing the productive workforce.

Being an international student has a lot of struggles dealing with it. Most of the time, they move here by themselves without their family and leaving their friends behind. Due to the ongoing pandemic, immigrants can’t visit home. SO they are feeling homesick and have to be lockdown by themselves. With language and culture barriers, they feel left alone.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark interviews one of his former classmates named Raquel Silva, on the struggles she faced while moving to Canada. Raquel was born in Brazil and moved to Winnipeg 3 years later. To help her get a better education. But with moving into a new country, she faced many difficulties

Many are struggling to put food on the table or maintain shelter due to the pandemic and other personal reasons. People aren’t asking for much, just enough food to feed their families. Hampers have been even busier than ever, so many families have enough food on the table and many volunteers who want to help these starving families.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron interviews Harvest Manitoba Advocacy and Impact Manager Meaghan Erbus. She provides services to clients of food banks and agencies across the province to prevent hunger and lift them out of poverty.

You can donate food to any food hamper located across Manitoba, or you can also financially at https://www.harvestmanitoba.ca/ways-to-give/donate-now/. Every dollar you give will send meals to our neighbours in need of food.

Many senior groups have been affected by the Covid-19 virus. They are struggling to get workers to follow the COVID-19 guidelines. The government is trying to help these seniors’ homes with plans and support along the road.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron interviews Canda’s Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte regarding the pandemic’s impact on Senior groups in Winnipeg. The support they provide is direct financial support to senior couples, so people living in senior homes have money to care for themselves. If COVID-19 continues, they’re establishing a new $1 billion long-term self-care fund to help provinces and territories protect seniors in long-term care. It will support infections prevention, ventilation improvements and staffing

Homelessness has been a significant and growing issue in the Winnipeg community, and we’ve been more aware of the homeless population due to the effects of COVID-19. Because of the virus, people are out of work because of limited areas of the workplace. With shelters also following the 25% capacity, we have seen many tents and homeless people because of the limited capacity.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron sat down with End Homelessness Kristiana Clemens. She gave her perspective on Winnipeg’s homeless situation and how End Homelessness is helping out during these difficult times.

Winnipeg is best known for many things. Like the Winnipeg Jets, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and The Forks. However, Winnipeg isn’t well known as an entertainment city. Since there aren’t many opportunities in the entertainment industry, many move to Toronto or Vancouver.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural hosted by Mark Aaron, Mark sits down with someone who made a huge splash in the movie industry. Miss Hera Nalem, the leading actress in a Winnipeg-based Movie called “I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight.”

COVID-19 has mostly locked us in our own home. We can’t go out anymore with our friends and family cause of the restrictions. Feeling lonely, some may have decided to adopt a furry friend to help them feel the void. But people can’t afford to take another pet because of loss of job and no steady income.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural hosted by Mark Aaron, Mark sits down with the Winnipeg Humane Society Jessica Miller CEO on her thoughts on COVID-19 affected the animals in the shelter and how the Winnipeg Community can help out during the pandemic.

You can donate towels, blankets or even pet food to the shelter. You also don’t have to donate a huge fund to the shelter. Even a $5 can help them out significantly. Every dollar counts. If you would like to donate to the Winnipeg Humane Society, please visit:
https://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/ways-to-help/donate/

Personal care homes have been having a rough time dealing with the COVID-19. With the growing numbers of cases, it’s hard to maintain a safe and healthy environment in personal care homes. All the employees who walk in to get ready to work have to change when they get to work and when they clock out, they have to change as well. They have to wear the same things as those who work in hospitals because of the high case numbers affecting the residents in some personal care homes. They are being precautious with everything and only limiting guests to visit their residents.

In this episode of In Focus by U Mulitculutrual, Mark Aaron interviews Kevin Friesen, an executive director of Southeast Personal Care Home. He gives his personal experience dealing with COVID-19 and working at a personal care home, and how employees are handling the regulations and rules.

COVID-19 has had an enormous effect on our everyday lives. We had to change our daily routines to follow all the restrictions, meaning people can’t see their friends and family. As well we had to change our daily routine. Most people are used to going into the gym and being active, but with COVID, some people stop exercising and being active. In the past two months, gyms and recreational sports have not been allowed in Winnipeg because of the high COVID cases. Some people maintained their health by working out at home. But gym owners have found a way to help Winnipegers stay active and fit.

In this episode of In Focus by U Mutlicultrual, Mark Aaron is interviewing the Ceo and founder of DreamBootcamp, Lendyll Soriano. He opened Dreambootcamp last year, and it has been growing in popularity. With the ongoing pandemic, it has been a rough time for Lendyll and his employees. At the beginning of the first COVID hit in March, they had to close the proximity between other people. During the summertime, they reopened up but had to limit the participants going to workout and follow all covid guidelines. But when the second wave, they had to reclose their gym.

Moving to a new country can be scary. Not knowing anyone, not use to climate change. Not having the resource or even having the proper education. With the struggles of moving into a new country in mind, people don’t need to worry. Many of them are trying to leave their country because of the government or starting a new life. Back in the day, there weren’t many resources or help provided. Immigrants have a hard time finding a job because our education system doesn’t match with their countries. They may also not be used to the country or its culture and may feel uncomfortable and out of place.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron interviews Immigrant Center Manitoba employees and how they immigrated here and their struggles in moving here in Winnipeg. They now help immigrants moving here by giving them the resource and support they need to live in Winnipeg.

International students come to Canada wanting to learn outside their country. Some have never been outside their country or even their continent. People want to learn in Canada for the experience and as well as for the land of opportunity. The IRCC reports that as of December 2019, there were a total of 642,480 international students that came to Canada. Some don’t have the resources, and they can struggle to find jobs or an education. Many of them move on their own from a new country without their family and friends.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural hosted by Mark Aaron, he talks to a Colombian student named David Sanchez, who moved to Winnipeg in 2017 to give him a great opportunity. But they were many struggles that faced him when moving here and leaving Colombia behind.

People are missing going out with their friends and gathering together to spend time with them. With COVID-19, it’s been limiting us to do those things. We can’t travel or even play sports together. With the L.I.V.E dance crew and studio, they can’t do anything at all. Angel Advincula, the founder, director and studio of the LIVE dance crew, has to follow the COVID restrictions. He usually has like 40 people practising, but he had to limit the studio space to 10 people. They represent Canada in the Hip Hop International every year, but they can’t do it anymore cause of the travel restrictions.

In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron sat down with Angel to talk about his thoughts on COVID restrictions and how they affected his studio and team.

In the month of 1995 February, Black history month was created, which honoured Black Canadians. Black people and the communities have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity. But in 2021, their human rights and many other cultures are still being tested to this day. On May 25, 2020, a man named George Floyd was arrested by Minneapolis police officers. They pinned George Floyd to the ground, and one officer had his knee on his neck. Seventeen minutes later, George Floyd was unsound and unresponsive. After the George Floyd incident, everyone in the world and here in Winnipeg started the Black Lives Matter in memory of George Floyd and many others who lost their lives cause of police misconduct.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights acknowledges every human history, from the Black Lives Matter movement to a prom that allowed black and white people to have their first integrated prom. In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron sat down with the CEO of the Human Rights Museum, Isha Khan, on how the Canadian Human Rights Museum was built and the effects of the Black lives matter movement on the future.

Many cultures get overshadowed by other cultures here in Winnipeg. 21.1% of Winnipeg residents are English ethnic. Whereas Polish is 7.8% are polishing ethnic. Winnipeg’s 2021 population is now estimated at 824,771. Winnipeg is very cultured every year with its yearly event Folklorama.

Folklorama promotes the ethnocultural diversity of Manitoba through entertainment and public celebrations of culture and education. But with COVID-19, they had to change how they promote Winnipeg’s cultures and ethnicities by doing online presentations and interactions. In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron interviewed the director of Folklorama Tanya Williams on what changes they made to follow the COVID-19 restrictions and how to bring more cultural awareness to and as well the plans for 2021 and the future if the restrictions don’t get lighten up.

COVID-19 affects everyone in the world today. People are losing jobs, not visiting love ones, and not getting the school experience they need. With the restrictions, teachers of Winnipeg had to limit their class sizes and resort to online teaching.

The students have had to learn from home through their webcam and learn stuff on their own, limiting some students because some students are hands-on learners. In this episode of In Focus by U Multicultural, Mark Aaron interviewed some staff and students of Louis Riel Arts and Technology Centre. We sat down to get their perspective on how COVID-19 affected the school and what changes they had to follow.

Every year we have Folkorama that runs two weeks in Winnipeg. Folokorama is an event where people get to explore many different cultures that Winnipeg has to offer. But after the event, people forgot about them. On January 19, 2021, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights hosted a free online event to explore how the global pandemic has put human rights at risk.

Ambassadors to Canada from the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden participated in this event. They discussed the Nordic experiences and then needed global vigilance and cooperation to combat the effects of COVID-19. In Focus by U Mulitcuturual, hosted by Mark Aaron, got a chance to interview Ambassador of Sweden to Canada Urban Ahlin. Ahlin previously served as a Politician representing the Swedish Social Democratic. He was a member of Parliament from 1994 to 2018. We discussed how COVID-19 affects our Human Rights and how to grow more Swedish cultural awareness in our Winnipeg community.

COVID-19 has a significant effect on our world today. It has been going on for about a year now, and everyone in the world has been affected by it one way or another. stores have been closed down, and people are losing jobs or can’t make an annual income. With the effects of Covid 19 they’re has been a growing increase number of homeless people in Winnipeg. Shelter homes have to follow the restrictions, limiting how many people can stay in the building.

Siloam’s mission is a Christian humanitarian organization, and it connects the community to alleviate hardships and provide opportunities for change for those affected by poverty and homelessness. Mark Aaron talked to Luke Thiessen, an Siloam Mission employee. Thiessen spoke about his perspective on the growing number of homeless people and how Siloam Mission is handling the restrictions.

Contact Mark Aaron

Contact Mark Aaron, our video journalist, to share your story, explore and discuss civic issues by email: markaaron@u-channel.ca

  1. Write to us to discuss your idea, topic of interest or concerns;
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