In celebration of National Volunteer Week 2022 (April 24 to 30), we are spotlighting some of our amazing volunteers and the contributions they have made to the New Canadians Centre and to the lives of newcomers.
Esther Mutua has been volunteering with the New Canadians Centre for two years. A newcomer herself, she found out about the NCC while looking for schools for her children. During the process, she met Steve Ross, a Settlement Worker in Schools, and he told her about the volunteer opportunities at the NCC.
Esther joined a Volunteer Support Team that was working with a single mother from Sudan. As a team, they helped take care of her kids, took her to medical appointments and helped to provide a support network for her. The group of volunteers and the mother became a very close and supportive group.
Esther acknowledges that some newcomers come to Canada and are still living with past pain and trauma, so it is even more rewarding when there are positive changes in their life. Seeing a person change, integrate and open up was the highlight of Esther’s experience on the Volunteer Support Team. Through building connections and practising patience, Esther believes that “you can make somebody’s life easier or contribute to their wellness, even if it is just giving an insight that they use later on to better their own life.”
Volunteering at the New Canadians Centre gave Esther the opportunity to make new friends and see people from other backgrounds that she may have not met otherwise. Esther encourages others to volunteer because in the future “you can look back and say you changed a life.”
Since then, Esther has continued volunteering on another Volunteer Support Team and was matched with a client for English Tutoring.
We are grateful for the contributions of volunteers like Esther who make a big difference in the lives of newcomers. They lead with empathy and kindness and that has the potential to create positive change in someone’s life and within communities. Esther is one of over 150 volunteers who have supported the New Canadians Centre this year. They are the heartbeat of the NCC.
The Volunteer Program at the New Canadians Centre provides several opportunities to connect with the Peterborough community, learn about new cultures, make a difference in someone’s life, and build new skills. We could not operate or reach our goals without the generous help of our volunteers.
At the moment, we are actively recruiting volunteers for Volunteer Support Teams to help new families as they arrive and build their lives in Peterborough. Remote and in-person opportunities are available. Learn more and apply to be a volunteer today