On our 30th anniversary, we collected 30 stories from community members, volunteers, staff and Board members, founders, partners, and others who have generously contributed their time, energy and talents over the years to make Access Alliance what it is today. Collectively these stories provide a snapshot of the organization’s mandate, history and growth.
Founders from the Korean community
The founding communities of Access Alliance fought for linguistically and culturally appropriate primary health care and related social services. Sung Hak Choi and Andrew Choi recount their experiences in founding Access Alliance and pioneering its work.
Comforts from a rooftop garden
Community gardeners harvest herbs that are healthy, calming and delicious for the staff and community tea cart at Access Alliance.
Building skills and giving back as a volunteer
From fitness instructor to Board Treasurer, Keisa Campbell talks about her volunteer experiences at Access Alliance.
Seniors enjoy expanded services
When Neighbourhood Centre integrated with Access Alliance in 2017, local seniors were able to enjoy expanded services, programs and volunteer opportunities.
Leadership and transformation
Axelle Janczur, the Executive Director of Access Alliance, has seen the organization through years of transformation and growth. She talks about her experiences and what’s ahead for the organization.
Exploring stories through embroidery art
Arabic-speaking women share memories and experiences through embroidery art in Access Alliance’s expressive arts program.
Health With Dignity
The Non Insured Walk-In Clinic provides Health With Dignity to some of the most vulnerable residents of the City of Toronto. It is one of the few clinics in the city dedicated to serving the medically uninsured …
Mie Tha La and the road to settlement
Mie Tha La was one of 140,000 Karen refugees who fled Myanmar. He came to Canada in 2007 after having spent 13 years in a refugee camp and within 48 hours, was put in touch with Access Alliance.
Changing lives with language services
Antonina Oliinyk joined Access Alliance’s interpretation roster in 1998. She was trained in medical interpretation and has been helping people communicate and break down language barriers ever since.
There was little in the city of Toronto for LGTBQ newcomers when the first LGTBQ+ initiative at Access Alliance began in 2006. Those beginnings started with the Among Friends program.
Opportunities to grow and learn
Anabela Azevedo has worked at Access Alliance since 1991. Her work over the years has changed in ways she couldn’t imagine.
Connecting and learning through community bike hubs
Access Alliance’s community bike hubs welcome residents who want to learn about cycling safety and maintenance and connect with other cyclists.
The eXposed project was a community-based research project conducted in 2008 that combines the photographs and narratives of 14 photo researchers who live in Toronto’s Black Creek community.
Making a difference through partnership
COSTI and Access Alliance have a history of collaboration and partnership that helps them mobilize in response to the needs of recent immigrants and refugees to Toronto.
Deepening the research pool
As a health researcher, Momtaz Begum has the education, credentials, commitment and passion to contribute to her field and make a difference. But can she and other internationally trained researchers find work in Canada?
Board talk: A virtual interview
Over the years, Access Alliance has benefited from the passion, expertise, and hard work contributed by the many members who have served terms on its Board of Directors. Present and past Chairs of the Board talk about their experiences.
Peer Outreach Workers
In 2002, Access Alliance recruited and trained women as Peer Outreach Workers. The program continues to build the capacity of women working in the heart of their communities.
Opening doors in the east and west
In 2011, Access Alliance expanded its services into the inner suburbs with the opening of AccessPoint on Danforth and AccessPoint on Jane. The expansion has made community programs, support and health services available to newcomer, immigrant and refugee communities in the east and west end of Toronto.
The legacy of Nahom Berhane
Nahom Berhane was a passionate leader with genuine commitment to fairness, equity, and community empowerment. His life and contributions are remembered here.
Bok Choy, Black Beans, Bananas: A Newcomer’s Guide to Healthy Eating
This practical guide was written with input from newcomer women who shared their knowledge and experiences with food and nutrition.
Volunteering to make a difference
Maria Renee Monteiro has a passion for helping others. She shares her story of volunteering with Access Alliance’s east end programs.
The Stepping Up Promising Practices Tool Kit was developed to help organizations implement expressive arts groups that focus on violence prevention and safety promotion for trans and LGBQ newcomer women.
Youth talk about health and wellbeing
Youth at Access Alliance made a video in 2013 to celebrate how community health and wellbeing are promoted in Access Alliance’s programs.
Celebrating a decade of community-based research
Community-based research is a collaborative research model that brings the needs, perspectives and insights of community members to the research. In 2016, Access Alliance’s research department celebrated 10 years of this transformative research.
LGTBQ+ Newcomer Cooking Program
Ken Olsen began volunteering in the LGBTQ+ Newcomer Program at Access Alliance in 2013. At the time, there were only six participants in the basement of Access Point on Danforth.
Postcards from the past
Two former Access Alliance staff members who worked with the Spanish-speaking community in the 1990s send in memories.
Bad Jobs Are Making Us Sick
Knowledge mobilization takes many forms. In 2013, Access Alliance made two evidence-based films about precarious work and its impact on health and quality of life.
Lessons from a green rooftop
East end residents build skills around food and gardening at the rooftop garden at AccessPoint on the Danforth.
Access Alliance Then and Now
For 30 years, Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services has been providing services and addressing system inequities to improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable immigrants, refugees, and their communities.
Access Alliance Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Access Alliance will commemorate this milestone with a year of activities, celebrating the history of the organization and its contribution to the city of Toronto.