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About Us

Who we are

Learn about the mission and legacy of Kababayan Multicultural Centre, our rich history, and our unwavering commitment to empowering newcomers in Toronto. Discover how we have grown and evolved to meet the needs of our community. 

Our Story

"Kababayan" means more than just a fellow citizen. It embodies the spirit of community, support, and belonging that we strive to create for newcomers in Toronto.

Started in 1977 as a resource for the Filipino immigrant community, Kababayan Multicultural Centre (KMC) has flourished over the past 45+ years and now supports newcomers from all over the world to succeed in Canada. Since opening our doors, we have assisted over 70,000 clients by connecting them with vital settlement resources, employment opportunities, community support, and more—all at no cost. With three physical locations and online services, we are dedicated to serving newcomers wherever they are. Our services are available in various languages, including English, Hindi, Farsi, Nepali, Spanish, and Tagalog. 
 

From one “kababayan” to another, we are here to ensure you feel right at home, offering unwavering support and guidance as you navigate your new life in Canada.

Our Vision & Mission

A strong immigrant community
with full and equal access to
Canada’s economic, political and socio-cultural opportunities.

We aim to provide effective and client-centred programs and services that are accessible to all and delivered by caring and professional staff.

Our Values

Our Values

Collaboration

We will work together to maximize our resources, share information and coordinate services. We will create a healthy work environment for our staff, and we will strive to be effective, efficient and sustainable in everything we do.

Community Engagement

We will engage the community by providing opportunities to share knowledge, resources and expertise, and by creating mechanisms that build wellness, strength and civic engagement. ​

Compassion

We will create an environment that is welcoming for everyone, and where everyone is treated with understanding and compassion. We will go above and beyond to support community members and link people to the services and supports that they seek.

Equity

We will respect and value the diversity of clients, residents and staff in the community. We will make decisions and work in ways that reflect our shared social justice and anti-oppression principles. ​

Excellence

We will evolve and respond to the changing needs and aspirations of the community. We will be client-centred and adaptable, and continuously seek out opportunities to learn and improve.

1977-1988: New beginnings and advocacy

In 1977, Kababayan Community Service Centre, later renamed Kababayan Multicultural Centre, is founded to serve Filipino immigrants. Our first location opens downtown, launching our legacy of service to newcomers in Canada.

 

In 1981, Kababayan joins the opposition to the Klu Klux Klan in Parkdale, where the white supremacist organization has opened a Canadian branch. Following a grassroots advocacy campaign led by community partners, including Kababayan, the KKK branch disbands.

 

From 1985 to 1988, KMC’s first efforts to combat violence against women, particularly migrant care workers, begin. In collaboration with the Network of Filipino-Canadian Women, we release two research publications on the subject,  “Mail Order Brides: To Honor and Obey,” and “From Fright to Flight.”

1998-2007: Building access to employment

In 2000, KMC establishes the “Creating Access to Regulated Employment (CARE) for Nurses” project in partnership with WoodGreen Community Services, St. Michael’s Hospital and the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, funded by the MayTree Foundation. This project helps hundreds of internationally-trained nurses start practicing in Ontario. 

 

We establish the Kababayan Caregiver Network in 2005 to support the specific needs of live-in caregivers and other newcomer care workers. In addition to skill-building workshops and individual counselling, we host plenty of social activities to combat social isolation.

Our History

Over 45 years of service to newcomers

Board of Directors

Ben Corpuz

Chairperson

Isidro Buquiron

Vice Chairperson

Florentino Gecolea

Treasurer

Veronica Javier

Secretary

Ruth Wilson

Assistant Secretary

Amalda Ada

Director

Ana Labasug

Director

Marites Mayome Abubo

Director

Jelbert Real

Director

Hosana Jayme

Director

2017-present: Focusing on youth and the future

The COVID-19 pandemic means many of our programs and services move online, offering new ways to connect with our clients. We expand our youth programs, collaborating with schools to offer individual and group activities for newcomers between the ages of 15 and 30. 

 

In 2022, we celebrate our 45th anniversary and significantly expanded our staff, enabling us to reach and assist even more community members. Since then, we have welcomed thousands of newcomers to Canada, providing them with vital information and services to help them thrive. 

Our Staff

Rizza Solis

Executive Director
416-5323888, ext. 221
rsolis@kababayan.org

Joel Cuevas

Systems Administrator
416-5323888
jcuevas@kababayan.org

Renator Ventura

Admin & Finance Manager
416-5323888, ext. 227
rventura@kababayan.org

Grace Zalun

Settlement Counsellor
416-8396851

gzalun@kababayan.org

Dipak Sapkota

Library Settlement Counsellor
647-8369578
dsapkota@kababayan.org

Christine Garcia

Settlement Counsellor
416-5323888, ext. 223
647-6170425
cgarcia@kababayan.org

Carolina Davila-Eguez

Settlement Counsellor
647-6171057
cdavila@kababayan.org

Vince Tangco

Youth Community Support Worker
647-3289239
vtangco@kababayan.org

Parisa Rahnema

Employment Counsellor
437-9996112
prahnema@kababayan.org

Shane Torres

Youth & Family Support Counsellor
437-9996083
storres@kababayan.org

Rodelo "Jay" Mangubat

Systems Administrator IT Specialist
416-8010308
jmangubat@kababayan.org

Jassleen Joy D. Cruz

Seniors and Women Community Support Counsellor
 437-779-6173
jcruz@kababayan.org

Leizel Efe

Digital Media Community Engagement Specialist
lefe@kababayan.org

1989-1997: Expanding programs and defending equity

In 1990, Kababayan begins offering programs specifically targeted to address the needs of youth, women, and seniors. Throughout the 90s, KMC hosts summer camps specifically for these groups, offering opportunities for bonding and recreation in a safe and welcoming space. 

 

After incidents of racial profiling against Filipino teenagers in 1993, Kababayan forms the Task Force to Stop Racism at Scarborough Town Centre, leading over 100 other organizations in a successful effort to repeal discriminatory policies. We produce the play “Mall Fright” to document the incidents. Kababayan begins offering programs specifically targeted to address the needs of youth, women, and seniors. 

2008-2017: Expanding our reach

After significant expansion of staff and resources from 2008 to 2010, our operating name officially changes to Kababayan Multicultural Centre in 2013 and our second location opens in North York, expanding our ability to offer programs and services to newcomers city-wide. The Bathurst-Finch hub hosts seven organizations in addition to Kababayan, creating a centre for newcomers to access essential support they need to thrive in Canada.

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