Networking group helps Hamilton's Kerala community

News Jan 07, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Mike Pearson, News staff 

When Saji Kuruvilla decided to start a new life in Hamilton eight years ago, the native of India’s Kerala region wasn’t sure where to find help.

Kuruvilla had to find accommodations, enrol his children in school and learn his way around the city, largely on his own. Instead of turning to a social support network, he relied on a local library for maps of the area and Yellow Page listings for school locations.

Today he’s helping other immigrants make a smoother transition with a new social networking group called Hamilton Malayalee Oruma. The organization, which began last year as a Facebook page, held its inaugural meeting on Dec. 27 at the Dominic Agostino Riverdale Community Centre.

The group is now looking for a permanent meeting venue.

By Kuruvilla’s estimates, there are roughly 300 Kerala families living in Hamilton. About 60 people attended the group’s first meeting and 39 have joined the Facebook page.

Kuruvilla has been pleased with the response to his group so far. The inaugural meeting was featured on a recent CH News broadcast, which was viewed online more than 500 times.

Residents of Kerala share a common language, Malayalam, which is spoken by the region’s 33 million residents. Kerala is a state situated along India’s southwestern coast. It boasts high literacy rates and many of its residents are fluent in both Malayalam and English.

Kuruvilla said Hamilton Malayalee Oruma is a networking group that can assist members looking for housing, job training or even buying or selling a used car.

“We need more people to know about this service,” said Kuruvilla, administator of the Facebook page. “I have a group of like-minded people all working together. We are getting a very good response from everyone.”

Unlike government-funded settlement and integration services, the Hamilton Malayalee group has no budget. The volunteer-driven group is currently looking for a venue to host future meetings.

While the first meeting was held in the Stoney Creek area, Kuruvilla said the group could meet virtually anywhere in the city if it finds an organization willing to provide a free venue.

For more information on the group, visit the Hamilton Malayalee Oruma Facebook page.

Networking group helps Hamilton's Kerala community

News Jan 07, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Mike Pearson, News staff 

When Saji Kuruvilla decided to start a new life in Hamilton eight years ago, the native of India’s Kerala region wasn’t sure where to find help.

Kuruvilla had to find accommodations, enrol his children in school and learn his way around the city, largely on his own. Instead of turning to a social support network, he relied on a local library for maps of the area and Yellow Page listings for school locations.

Today he’s helping other immigrants make a smoother transition with a new social networking group called Hamilton Malayalee Oruma. The organization, which began last year as a Facebook page, held its inaugural meeting on Dec. 27 at the Dominic Agostino Riverdale Community Centre.

The group is now looking for a permanent meeting venue.

By Kuruvilla’s estimates, there are roughly 300 Kerala families living in Hamilton. About 60 people attended the group’s first meeting and 39 have joined the Facebook page.

Kuruvilla has been pleased with the response to his group so far. The inaugural meeting was featured on a recent CH News broadcast, which was viewed online more than 500 times.

Residents of Kerala share a common language, Malayalam, which is spoken by the region’s 33 million residents. Kerala is a state situated along India’s southwestern coast. It boasts high literacy rates and many of its residents are fluent in both Malayalam and English.

Kuruvilla said Hamilton Malayalee Oruma is a networking group that can assist members looking for housing, job training or even buying or selling a used car.

“We need more people to know about this service,” said Kuruvilla, administator of the Facebook page. “I have a group of like-minded people all working together. We are getting a very good response from everyone.”

Unlike government-funded settlement and integration services, the Hamilton Malayalee group has no budget. The volunteer-driven group is currently looking for a venue to host future meetings.

While the first meeting was held in the Stoney Creek area, Kuruvilla said the group could meet virtually anywhere in the city if it finds an organization willing to provide a free venue.

For more information on the group, visit the Hamilton Malayalee Oruma Facebook page.

Networking group helps Hamilton's Kerala community

News Jan 07, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Mike Pearson, News staff 

When Saji Kuruvilla decided to start a new life in Hamilton eight years ago, the native of India’s Kerala region wasn’t sure where to find help.

Kuruvilla had to find accommodations, enrol his children in school and learn his way around the city, largely on his own. Instead of turning to a social support network, he relied on a local library for maps of the area and Yellow Page listings for school locations.

Today he’s helping other immigrants make a smoother transition with a new social networking group called Hamilton Malayalee Oruma. The organization, which began last year as a Facebook page, held its inaugural meeting on Dec. 27 at the Dominic Agostino Riverdale Community Centre.

The group is now looking for a permanent meeting venue.

By Kuruvilla’s estimates, there are roughly 300 Kerala families living in Hamilton. About 60 people attended the group’s first meeting and 39 have joined the Facebook page.

Kuruvilla has been pleased with the response to his group so far. The inaugural meeting was featured on a recent CH News broadcast, which was viewed online more than 500 times.

Residents of Kerala share a common language, Malayalam, which is spoken by the region’s 33 million residents. Kerala is a state situated along India’s southwestern coast. It boasts high literacy rates and many of its residents are fluent in both Malayalam and English.

Kuruvilla said Hamilton Malayalee Oruma is a networking group that can assist members looking for housing, job training or even buying or selling a used car.

“We need more people to know about this service,” said Kuruvilla, administator of the Facebook page. “I have a group of like-minded people all working together. We are getting a very good response from everyone.”

Unlike government-funded settlement and integration services, the Hamilton Malayalee group has no budget. The volunteer-driven group is currently looking for a venue to host future meetings.

While the first meeting was held in the Stoney Creek area, Kuruvilla said the group could meet virtually anywhere in the city if it finds an organization willing to provide a free venue.

For more information on the group, visit the Hamilton Malayalee Oruma Facebook page.