The challenges of being a refugee or immigrant are eased by members of the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-operative (MCHB) in Edmonton. What began as project bridging the gap between Chinese families and the health care system, has grown into a worker co-op comprised of more than 100 cultural brokers serving 23 different ethnocultural communities at all stages of life. MCHB takes a holistic approach offering culturally responsive personal care, the development of small groups fostering mutual support, organizing communities to address health and social issues and advocate for change around poverty, housing, employment and food insecurity.
The brokers are members of the communities they serve and know first-hand the challenges of life in a new land. As a worker co-op, they value equity, democracy, mutual care and collective approaches to a problem solving. For many, growing up and working in systems that were non-egalitarian, it is a welcome relief to be part of a co-operative where their voices are valued and heard.
Our guides to the history, growth and role of MCHB are Yvonne Chui, Lucenia Ortiz and Joey Jalal. Have a listen.