Volunteer Centre: Help newcomers to Canada set strong roots

Hundreds of people arrive in the Central Okanagan, all in the pursuit of a better life for their families.

  • Oct. 8, 2014 4:00 p.m.

Aimee Jensen, contributor

Since moving to Kelowna five years ago, it seems that the majority of people I meet are also from somewhere else and similarly moved to Kelowna at some point in their life.

Our reasons for moving here are varied, but usually seem to revolve around the core idea of finding a better life for ourselves and our family. We all faced challenges initially upon moving here, whether it was finding work, friends or the best places to purchase groceries. Now imagine going through those challenges in a different country, where you additionally are learning a new language, a new culture and a new society.

Hundreds of people in the Central Okanagan are doing this every day, all in the pursuit of a better life for their families.

Kelowna Community Resources has created two mentorship programs to provide opportunities to help newcomers and their families to build strong foundations for future success, but these programs cannot exist without the hard work and dedication of volunteers like you.

If you are interested in sharing Canadian culture with others, learning about diverse cultures, and providing support and friendship, then volunteering with Immigrant Services’ Mentorship Programs may be just the opportunity for you.

The Employment Mentorship Program matches working volunteer mentors with skilled immigrants. Mentors then assist their mentee to develop job search skills, expand professional networks and quicken their understanding of Canadian workplace culture.

Similarly, the Settlement Mentorship Program matches individuals or families with newcomers and assists them with learning about Canadian culture and building connections in the Kelowna community.

If you are interested in being a part the Employment Mentorship Program, contact Marriana at Marriana@kcr.ca, 250-763-8008 ext. 135.

If you are interested in the Settlement Mentorship Program, contact me at Aimee@kcr.ca, 250-763-8008 ext. 140.

Aimee Jensen is a settlement worker for Kelowna Community Resources.


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