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National Volunteer Week Feature: Central Alberta Refugee Effort Volunteer Profile

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  • National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize, celebrate and thank Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers! Here at home, there are so many fantastic volunteers who help to build our communities by giving generously of their time & talents. This week, Todayville in partnership with Volunteer Central  is profiling several incredible volunteer initiatives.

    Today we’re taking a closer look at the Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E.) and one of it’s volunteers.

    Bigazi Nsanzabera  has been a volunteer with C.A.R.E. for almost 2 years. In that time, he has volunteered with the Public Awareness program at various events.

    C.A.R.E. says volunteers like Bigazi are such a treasure not only for the organization, but also for the community. The organization says Bigazi is full of compassion and knowledge and that his willingness to share this knowledge with students and community members is amazing to watch. He is able to connect with the students not only in English but also in French, and of course his teaching skills come into play to deliver the message. Which is no surprise, as his professional background is in teaching.

    As Bigazi explains in his own words: “Nothing pleases me more than sharing my story to the students. Many kids here don’t know Africa and its troubled history. So it is my pleasure to  share my story with the students and teachers, I remember in one school, a child stood up after my presentation and gave me a ” thank you” note. Thanks to CARE for allowing me to be part of this”

    When asked, how this volunteer work helps newcomers in the community, he replies “I always tell students that we are ALL One. We all have the same red blood in our veins and as Canada is a country of immigrants, we should strive to love one another and live in peace”

    Bigazi is always willing and ready to help, he sees this as an opportunity to give back to the community. The schools, the community and especially C.A.R.E. appreciates his work and dedication to volunteering.

    Interested in volunteering with C.A.R.E.? Click here for all the information you’ll need to share your unique talents, passion, knowledge and time to ensure the successful integration of newcomer immigrants and refugees.

     

    About C.A.R.E.

    C.A.R.E. was formed in 1979 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to assist with the settlement of Indochinese refugees fleeing the aftermath of the Vietnam War. A year later, C.A.R.E. became a registered non-profit society. In 1982 it received status as a charitable organization. Since our founding, our mission has been to assist in the settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees in the community.

     

    We provide settlement support to newcomers in Central Alberta, in close partnership with the Immigration and Settlement Service of Catholic Social Services

    Our Guiding Principles

    Throughout our daily work we are loyal to the following guiding principles:

    • To empower clients to become self-sufficient
    • To provide accessible community based services and programs
    • To appreciate cultural diversity and differences
    • To respect clients’ right to make their own choices
    • To ensure clients of confidentiality
    • To value clients, volunteers and staff
    • To serve everyone with fairness and respect
    • Our office is fragrance free. Thank you for not wearing scented products when visiting our office.

     

    About Volunteer Central

    Through our comprehensive website, convenient downtown location, and relevant programs and workshops, we connect volunteers, non-profit organizations, and businesses to create successful volunteer relationships in Central Alberta.

    At Volunteer Central, we…

    • offer a listing of volunteer opportunities
    • list non-profit employment opportunities
    • host training programs and workshops
    • develop corporate volunteer programs
    • promote and support community events
    • build capacity in the nonprofit sector across central Alberta


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    One grade 7 class raises over $2,500 for Child Advocacy Centre

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  • Miss. G’s 7-5 class from St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School completed their Almsgiving Bake Sale Thursday with a total amount of $2736 raised for the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre!

    They were so excited to share their news of how much they raised since starting back in March!  Every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday through out lent, the 7-5’s would bring in treats that they made at home.  They sold the goodies to the rest of the student body at lunch to help raise funds to donate to the Centre.

    Thank you to Miss Goranson for putting this all on for the CACAC, and to the 7-5 class for being apart of this and wanting to help other kiddos – you are amazing!


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    Celebrity Dancer Alex Wood mistaken for 2nd pro on the floor!

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  • As co-owner of Ryde RD Spin Cycling, Alex Wood may have had a slight athletic advantage over even the most physically fit celebrities in the 2019 Celebrity Dance Off.  Wood also trained as a dancer when she was growing up.  Did all that pay off?  Well some of the judges and many of the spectators were under the impression their might be two pros on the floor when Wood and pro partner Peter Samoila performed.  Check out this fast and flawless salsa / cha cha mix.  Amazing doesn’t do it justice!

    My Story…

    I grew up here in Red Deer, this is home. It took me a while to return after high school but I am so happy to be back. I co-own Ryde RD Spin Studio. Red Deer was the perfect place for my husband Dave and I to start our business.

    I studied at Montana Tech and graduated as a petroleum engineer. I met my husband there and we made our way to Calgary for work. After two and half years, I decided that a desk job wasn’t for me so we packed our bags, moved to Asia and travelled overseas. After too much fun in the sun, we decided to move to Red Deer to start Ryde.

    Supporting our clients and the community is very important to us. We’ve hosted many charity Ryde’s including one for the Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off.

    Over the next few months, I’ll be putting my travel bug on hold, trading my spin shoes in for dancing shoes, and trying to regain my dancing skills from my teenage years. I’m honored to be a part of this event and passionate about the cause.


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