Supporting and encouraging diversity and inclusivity in our communities benefits everyone, according to Gabriele Zeh-Abramsky, Board Director, New Canadians Centre Peterborough. “When people come to Canada to build a new life they have to face so many challenges – from learning a new language to understanding the culture,” says Gabriele.
“When we welcome and support new Canadians in their endeavor to secure employment and become successful, our entire community grows and prospers. This is key to my involvement with the New Canadians Centre Peterborough for more than 10 years. I believe the organization is leading the effort to create a more diverse, welcoming and stronger community – for everyone.”
A long-time contributor to Peterborough’s social and economic landscape, Gabriele has been involved in improving newcomers’ social integration, and networking with the goal of securing employment. “Language is often the largest barrier to employment,” she says. “It can also impact a newcomer’s ability to feel like they belong.Community integration programs delivered by the New Canadians Centre recognize this need for community connection. Programs are designed to encourage people to work together, share stories, prepare and eat meals together. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It does take time and patience.”
Gabriele was highlighted by TD Canada Trust during their recent Customer Appreciation Promotion recognizing her outstanding commitment to local charities. As part of the promotion, she named the New Canadians Centre Peterborough as her charity of choice to receive a $5,000 donation from TD Canada Trust to support the work of the New Canadians Centre. Thank you TD Canada Trust and Gabriele for your continued support.
Since 2016, the New Canadians Centre has witnessed a 30% increase in the number of clients they support as a result of welcoming and helping to resettle more than 400 refugees from Syria to Peterborough. “I’m part of a support team for a family from Syria. I have been for the past two years,” Gabriele says. “Working closely with the family to help develop their language skills has been one of the biggest challenges but everyone is keen to learn and work hard. It’s been a very rewarding experience for myself, and hopefully for them.”
Sherri Munro, Branch Manager at TD Canada Trust & Carol Lawless, Fund Development Co-ordinator at the New Canadians Centre show their appreciation to Gabriele Zeh-Abramsky during the TD Customer Appreciation Day
For 39 years the New Canadians Centre has been committed to empowering immigrants and refugees to become full and equal members of society. The organization relies on community partners and supporters to provide sustainable programs focused on community integration for more than 800 new Canadians from 80 different countries every year.