I Believe Volunteering Is Very Rewarding.
“As an immigrant, I have a zest for supporting other immigrants” says Maryam Motia. “this yearning is also rooted in my academic background and pre-migration experiences. I obtained my Master’s in Counselling in Iran and used to work as a family counsellor with immigrants and refugees from diverse ethnicities.”
As a result of her experience and passion to help others, Maryam began volunteering with Immigrant Services Guelph Wellington as a Conversation Circle Assistant to help newcomers achieve their goals in learning and practising English.
“Maryam has shown outstanding dedication and sincerity to our agency and its programs by volunteering efficiently and productively” notes Sreeja Venugopal, Volunteer Mobilizer, “she always goes above and beyond her role to help the clients and sets a great example for her peers.”
Sreeja continues, “Maryam has assisted in critically analyzing how we can make changes to improve the circle. Being a mother of two, she is undoubtedly an exemplary role model, and proves that by volunteering and participating in the community, you not only help others, but also yourself. Maryam is a great example for the quote – ‘Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart’.
“I believe volunteering is very rewarding in that it is intertwined with making life easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Given the context of migration with complicated challenges, helping immigrants can be even more rewarding. Often, just being patient and considerate enough to listen, care, and empathize is a great deal of work” shares Maryam.
“Volunteering can be a process of learning new skills” says Maryam, “or an opportunity for practicing already learned skills. It also can provide opportunities for discovering what one may add to an organization. For example, as an English as a second language (ESL) person myself, I have realized that there are situations in which I immediately understand what another ESL immigrant tries to convey while it may not be easy for native English speakers. Such situations highlight the role of volunteers in facilitating immigrants’ integration into Canadian society. Moreover, as a mother, I can pass on values such as humanity, caring about others’ needs, and giving back to the community to my children.”
Maryam shares, “I would like to request all citizens and permanent residents in Canada to pay attention to their powerful role in enriching their own lives as well as others’ through volunteering. In fact, volunteering is investing time, energy, and skills in constructive ways both at personal and societal levels, for now, and for the future. Specifically, given the reputation of Canada as a multicultural and welcoming country to immigrants, volunteering, along with governmental supportive policies, would increase immigrants’ satisfaction, and maintain the prestigious status of our country.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Immigrant Services Guelph Wellington, visit is-gw.ca