Volunteer-led Refugee Integration Project

In order to meet the demand of a larger influx of refugees accessing services at our Centre and respond to the offers of volunteer support from the community at large, the Centre for Newcomers created a volunteer-led response. This offers the ability for refugees on wait-lists to still be in touch with the Centre, gain networking skills and learn about the community. Volunteers are involved in the integration process through networking and building community with newcomers. Centre staff act as liaisons to assist the volunteers, coordinate efforts and invite refugee clients to activities and events

The activities that we have to assist refugees at this time include:
  • Conversation Club and Basic Computer classes on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 pm (We need the volunteers to be here at 4:00 pm). These activities run throughout the year in 8-week cycles.
    The first cycle of 2017 is from January 18 to March 8; then we will restart activities from April 5th to May 24.
    • The main roles of volunteers are Conversation Club Facilitator/support, Computer Class Facilitator/support, Childcare Room Support, Interpreter (Arabic, Spanish, Amharic, Tigrinya, etc.) and Lead Volunteer supporting staff and/or rooms as required. We provide the materials and guidance to facilitate activities.
  • Field trips to the Calgary Tower, TELUS Spark Centre, Calgary zoo, etc. are scheduled in coordination with active volunteers once or twice a month.
    • The main roles of volunteers are Tour guide, attendance control, interpretation.
  • Accompany clients to community events
  • Professional mentorship
  • Get match with a family to provide extra settlement support

As part of the process to bring on board more volunteers, we have identified the following components/requirements that a volunteer must meet before engaging in events and/or activities with our clientele:
  1. Attend the Cultural Competency Training and Volunteer Orientation (CCTVO) Session (2.5 hours).
  2. Provide two references, we just need the contact information (name, phone, and email address), no need to ask for reference letters (if possible no references from relatives or friends). Or a Police Information report that indicates that a vulnerable sector check was completed (Issued in the previous 6 months).
  3. Submit Resume.
Please ask yourself: Am I willing to commit and volunteer my time for at least 7.5 hours a month for 4 months? If your answer is yes, please contact Elaine Mew e.mew@centrefornecomers.ca
to start the process and register for the next CCTVO session.