Imagine you are in a new country where the language and customs are very different. Even the music is different; you miss your favourite songs, and hearing them would help you feel much better.
The Somali Women's Support and Information Line based at Carlington Community and Health Services (CCHS) now presents well-known Somali songs as part of a popular new service that provides women with health information.
When calling the Information Line at 722-7033, callers can talk to a counsellor or listen to a health information clip. The info clip is given first in the Somali language, followed by the song. The clip and song are changed every two weeks.
“Women love to phone the Line, listen to the info clips, and then hear the well-loved songs,” said Anne Joyce, Multicultural Worker at CCHS. “This is especially effective for people from cultures such as Somalia that have a strong oral tradition. And the women come together in groups to discuss what they have learned.”
The first project gave information on the negative effects of smoking and the second focused on gambling. The Line currently gives information on breast health.
“This is a unique service-delivery model,” said Phil Moorman, Intervention Manager at CCHS. “It allows us to serve members of a community that are hard to reach by conventional means, and some of whom are very isolated. We hope to expand the project into new areas and will continue to seek the funding needed to support it.”