“I am an immigrant, came from Indonesia and arrived in Saskatoon when I was 17 years old, to study at the University of Saskatchewan. Coming at the age of 17, when the teenage time was almost over, but I wasn’t an adult yet, attending University was a difficult time for me. I wasn’t fluent in English nor was familiar with slangs and Canadian culture. In addition, the pressure of University lifestyle which expected me to learn many things on my own, as well as working part-time for extra pocket money, made me determine to help other kids, especially immigrants like me, to get ready for school and university life, in the future.
Upon graduation, I moved to Calgary in 2013 and started working as a professional in oil and gas. After being settled with jobs, I had extra time to have some nostalgia, thinking back to my struggle balancing my university life and social life. Experiencing difficult time with little support, I decided to look for an opportunity to mentor others. Through Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, I found an opportunity with The Afterschool Program of The Calgary Bridge Foundation (CBFY). I then attended the first meet and greet/interview session for volunteers with CBFY staff. The moment I walked in the room, I was greeted with smile and friendliness of everyone working in CBFY. Looking at their passion and their positive attitude, I was sure that I wanted to be a part of the volunteer team, to bring support and unconditional love for youth.
It was official that I was in the volunteer team with The Afterschool program in October 2016. The more I was involved with the program, the more I was in love and feel that I really make a contribution to the society. I continued being in the team for about a year. Seeing how all the kids were doing well in school, how they were making new friends, started joining different activities and gaining their self-confidence, really made me impressed with the program. The experience being part of CBFY team was such a pleasure. It shows that community support is really important in everyone’s life, especially children and youth.”
If you are interested in making a contribution in the settlement and integration of new immigrant and refugee youth and their families, please contact:
Dinesh Koirala, Volunteer Resources Coordinator
Phone: 403-230-7745 Ext. 603