Newcomer Volunteer Connections in Saskatoon

A Guest Post from the Saskatoon Open Door Society

November 15, 2017

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Photo: Stephanie Shyluk, Courtesy of Saskatoon Open Door Society

Newcomers are faced with multifaceted barriers to their economic integration into the mainstream Canadian job market. These barriers include language skills, lacking professional networking, familiarity with Canadian work culture, and insight in Canadian job market skill sets. Volunteering addresses each of these barriers. It is a great way to practice English in the context of a Canadian workplace, and an opportunity to build a network of friends and potential professional contacts.

Volunteering is seen in different ways in different cultures but ‘helping the community’ is a universal value. Volunteers who are recent arrivals to Canada are often motivated by a sense of duty to the broader community along with goals to practice English and build their resume. No matter the reason, volunteering is an effective integration tool which helps newcomers build their employability, language skills, awareness of the community structure, and social network.

The role of the Newcomer Volunteer Connections coordinator can be as small, such as offering a list of organizations that are currently in need of volunteers. It can also be helping to fill out a volunteer application, or even attending a volunteer’s first shift. Open Door is there to support the client through any of the steps needed to become a volunteer. As an organization that utilizes volunteers for many of our programs, we understand the value of volunteer work and the importance of finding a meaningful and suitable position.SODS_logo_col

There are hundreds of organizations in Saskatoon that benefit from the hard work of volunteers, and each day newcomers come through Open Door Society looking to see how they can be of help to others. For more information about volunteering, please contact us at communityconnections@sods.sk.ca