Volunteers come to the New Canadians Centre through many different paths. Some come from families who themselves received help from NCC in the past.
Jeff Ji’s family immigrated from China and moved to Peterborough when he was a child. The NCC and volunteers helped his parents in developing employment skills, editing resumes, and provided them with English language tutoring. Jeff witnessed the good that volunteers can do and that inspired him to get involved, and “pay back some of the kindness (they) received and pass it on to a new immigrant family.”
In August of 2019, Jeff started volunteering with NCC as a Refugee Support Team Leader. Support teams act as a support network of friends, helping refugees adjust to their new life in Canada and overcome cultural barriers and other challenges that surface when navigating a new place.
As a team leader with NCC, Jeff helped organize a team of volunteers tasked with finding housing for a family, showing them around town, helping with English lessons, socializing, supporting their needs for healthcare appointments, arranging fun family activities, and generally easing their transition to life in Peterborough.
Jeff and the members of his support team – Team Betterment Brigade – were awarded a Community Betterment Award in January 2022 by the City of Peterborough in recognition of their volunteer efforts in helping new Canadians settle.
Jeff is glad that he was able to be “there in crucial moments of a family who did need help. I was really happy that we were able to do things for the family like help them find their first home, or at least a place to stay, help them buy their first car and also to see their family be more integrated into Peterborough.”
Jeff is one of over 350 volunteers who support the work of the New Canadians Centre each year. 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 nor reach our goals without the generous help of our volunteers.
At the moment, we are actively recruiting for volunteers for 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!