Dear Community Partners and Friends:
The holiday season is a time for us to connect with our family and friends, reflect on past events, and contemplate on possible actions in the new year. As we reflect, it is clear that COVID-19 has changed many facets of our lives.
When our team started Project PROTECH 20 months ago, we anticipated the resurgence of collective challenges faced by Chinese and East Asian communities, frontline healthcare providers and vulnerable groups. However, the unprecedented magnitude and impact of COVID-19 were beyond anticipation. To date, Canada and the world have witnessed the importance of social justice and equity within and across countries if we were to successfully overcome COVID-19 and future pandemics.
Over the course of PROTECH, your support and commitment, together with the tireless efforts of our staff, had made it possible for us to launch and maintain our community-centred Information-Hub, deliver the evidence-informed online PACER to reduce stress and promote resilience and mobilize multi-sectoral community engagement responses to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on our affected communities.
To date, we have delivered 177 sessions of Live Chat, 9 Mental Health Webinars, 21 Community Partners’ Showcase with 44 recordings, 18 Resilience Dialogues, and 4 Townhall Forums. You may visit our YouTube Channel for the event recordings. Our PACER program has trained 191 healthcare providers and 137 community members/advocates, with evidence of effectiveness. We have published more than 190 pages and 1300 posts on our projectprotech.ca website. We shared timely and pertinent information through our social media platforms and our semi-monthly newsletter that is subscribed by more than 600 people.
Last December, amidst multiple lockdowns and social isolation, the COVID-19 vaccines gave Canadians a sense of hope. PROTECH contributed to providing accurate and up-to-date news about vaccination and keeping safe. This December, we are faced with some uncertainties related to the Omicron variant, but collectively we have learned strategies to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We have also learned that equitable distribution of protective resources and vaccines locally and across the globe is key to combatting pandemics.
During this holiday season, once again we are given the opportunities and demands to find creative ways to connect with our loved ones, families and friends, to express our warm wishes, to give and receive support, and to celebrate our holiday traditions. We can experience joyful memorable moments, whether we are indoor, outdoor or in virtual space. You may find happiness in some quiet ME-time or doing mindfulness with a loved one virtually. You may also aspire to start a petition and/or write the Prime Minister, the Ontario Premier, and your local politicians to advocate for social justice and equity.
Happy holidays!! We wish you many moments of discovery, and connection to creativity, endurance, strength, health, and happiness!! We look forward to our ongoing connections!!
May 2022 bring us collective wisdom, compassion, inspiration, and courage to co-create a world in which all people flourish!!
Josephine P. Wong
On behalf of the PROTECH Team