SACEM recognized the need for support and guidance for the group of small-business persons in the Tamil Community. A seminar organized for their benefit resulted in the starting of the Canada Ceylon Tamil Chamber of Commerce which today enjoys wide support in the Community.
SACEM blazed new trail in organizing another public seminar on “Strengthening Volunteerism in the Tamil Community” under the leadership of Mr. Augustine Jeyanathan. This was followed by a series of eight workshops held over a two-year period under a program called towards “Excellence in Volunteer Leadership”. Mr. Peter Crosby of the FSA helped SACEM in the execution of this project.
SACEM’s 10th Anniversary was celebrated at the Scarborough Town Center with a public meeting. It included a program titled “Celebration of Volunteerism” where ten new voluntary organizations were honoured with “Recognition Awards”. A bumper issue of SACEM’s journal titled “TAMILS - Ten Years that made a difference” was issued to mark the event.
SACEM entered into partnership with the Family Service Association and the Wellesley Hospital on a health project for the benefit of the Tamil Community in St. James Town. The project lasted 18 months and included several information sharing sessions, consultations and workshops. The project coordinator was Naga Ramalingam. This project was followed by another titled “Towards Harmony in Tamil Families” coordinated by Parwathy Kandasamy.
To help alleviate the difficulties faced by Tamil families due to cultural changes, SACEM entered the area of Family Support Services. The services included counseling on Family relationships, Parenting and catering to the Specific needs of Women. A high light of this project was a training program in counseling to 15 volunteers under the direction of an expert. Thanks to this initiative it became possible to provide informal counseling to several individuals and families. The coordinator for the Family Support Program was Jayanthy Reynolds.
A program titled “Responsible Citizenship” was initiated by SACEM primarily for the purpose of rehabilitating offenders under the Law. This program now covers education on social responsibilities as well as meaningful integration into the multicultural society of Canada.
The impact of new technology ushering in “The Information Age” posed challenges in the job market. A new program was started under which SACEM organized two seminars titled “Our Youth and Job Opportunities”. These seminars provided meaningful information and advice on adoption of new strategies in search for job.
This period also witnessed renewed interest in Health Education. SACEM, both on its own initiative and in association with Family Service Association sponsored several workshops including Breast Cancer, Heart ailments, Arthritis, and Nutrition. Of particular note were the holding of a Symposium on Diabetes and the subsequent establishment of the Tamil Chapter of The Canada Diabetes Association. Several of the Health projects inclusive of Diabetic care were done in association with the FSA.