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Announcement Details


The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on COSTI’s clients and services in the fiscal year 2019/20, resulting in a significant shift in service delivery. “While COSTI continues to believe that one-on-one in-person service is the best model in serving the community, the global events of this past year required the organization to shift its services from a primarily in-person service delivery model to an online model,” comments President Pina Alberelli-Arone in her report. “The Board and staff embraced the change and demonstrated their flexibility to adapt quickly. Board meetings transitioned permanently to an online platform and many programs launched online models. We are grateful for the flexibility demonstrated by our staff in quickly adapting to serving the community remotely.”

Mario J. Calla, COSTI’s Executive Director, describes in his report, an experience that continues to stay with him. "A client called her counsellor at COSTI when the lockdown was declared and our staff had moved to working from home. The woman called her counsellor to inquire about her health. She said encouragingly to the counsellor, ‘Don’t worry, this is nothing. I spent two years in a refugee camp. It’s now my turn to look after you.’ These moments of resilience and sense of community inspired and sustained our resolve to stay the course despite the considerable challenges.”

COSTI provides immigrants and refugees with knowledge, access to services and skills that accelerate their ability to engage broadly and deeply in all aspects of Canada society. Please take a moment to read about the experiences of our clients and donors, particularly the experiences of Maximilliana Odibo (Employment Services - Client Profile)  and Yaseen Al Shedadat (Refugee Services - Client Profile).

Francesca Meidati shares her mother, Adalgisa Di Scola’s (Seniors' Services - Client Profile) experience in hopes that other immigrant seniors with early-stage dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease will find support through programs like the Calabrian Benevolent Association of Ontario (CBAO) Seniors Day program. Unfortunately, Adalgisa passed away in the spring of 2020.

Please take a moment to also read about how Shivvon Hayles, a former COSTI client and owner of Sparling Smiles, a mobile dental hygiene servicre. She believes in giving back to the community and donating her time to provide support to indviduals in need, including COSTI clients, by delivering onsite dental hygiene services at not cost to our Hostel Services clients.  To read more about our donors, funders, clients, and COSTI’s work in the community, the 2019/20 Annual Report can be easily accessed by clicking here.