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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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Alberta

Alberta paving the way for newcomers to get to work

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From the Government of Alberta: Ensuring fairness for newcomers

Bill 11, the Fair Registration Practices Act, will help newcomers get their credentials recognized, so they can quickly get to work in their fields to help grow the economy and create jobs.

The act is a key part of the government’s Fairness for Newcomers Action Plan.

Highly trained immigrant professionals can sometimes spend years jumping through regulatory hoops while their skills atrophy.

This can result in a significant loss of economic productivity for the Alberta economy. If passed, the Fair Registration Practices Act would cut red tape, remove barriers, speed up the process where possible, hold professional bodies accountable, and increase fairness and transparency.

Our goal is to get all Albertans back to work. Too often, we hear stories of ‘doctors driving cabs’ syndrome – and we are taking action to make sure newcomers’ credentials are evaluated and assessed objectively and in a timely manner.” Jason Kenney, Premier

“It’s important for Alberta’s professional bodies to maintain high professional standards while allowing qualified newcomers to fully contribute to our economy. And not only that, giving newcomers the chance to pursue the careers they’ve trained for is, simply put, the right thing to do.” Jason Copping, Minister of Labour and Immigration

“The settlement sector in Alberta has been advocating for fair recognition of newcomer qualifications for decades. The proven detrimental impact of underemployment of newcomer professionals is felt not only within their own families, but throughout society as well. We are certain that fair recognition of credentials will improve the quality of life of all Albertans, and are grateful this legislation is being introduced so quickly by the new government.” Anila Lee Yuen, president & CEO, Centre for Newcomers

The proposed bill would:

  • Provide the authority to create a Fair Registration Practices Office.
  • Reduce the red tape associated with the assessment of foreign credentials.
  • Work with regulators to ensure registration practices are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.
  • Maintain Alberta’s high professional standards.

Bill 11 would require regulatory bodies to:

  • Assess applications and communicate assessment decisions within specific time frames for interim registration decisions and within reasonable time frames for final registration decisions.
  • Submit reports regarding fair registration practices to the minister responsible for the act.

“ASET is the regulator of engineering and geoscience technology practice in Alberta, and is committed to fully objective criteria for certification, and a level playing field for all applicants. Having long since adopted high standards of fairness in our admissions practices, ASET applauds the initiative for fair assessment of all applicants.” Barry Cavanaugh, CEO, Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta

If passed, the legislation would come into force on proclamation.

Quick facts

  • According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canadians would earn up to $17 billion more annually if their learning credentials were fully recognized.
    • Immigrants are the largest group, with an estimated 524,000 international credential holders affected by a lack of learning recognition.
  • Provinces such as Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia already have fairness legislation to ensure that professional regulatory organizations have fair registration practices.
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City of Red Deer

City wants your thoughts on homelessness

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From City of Red Deer Communications

Help shape Red Deer’s housing and homelessness plan

As part of the Community Housing & Homelessness Integrated Plan, residents are invited to complete a survey to provide their feedback about housing and homelessness in Red Deer.

Driven by a Council Ad Hoc Committee, the overall goal of the Community Housing & Homelessness Integrated Plan (CHHIP) is to develop a strategic and innovative housing plan that will help achieve the community’s housing goals.

“Everyone needs a place to live, and the work we’re doing today with the CHHIP will guide housing andhomelessness planning now and in the future,” said Tricia Hercina, Manager of Social Planning with the City of Red Deer. “This is a community plan, and will focus on the full non-market housing spectrum.”

To ensure the plan is reflective of community needs, all citizens are invited to provide their feedback. A survey is currently available at reddeer.ca/surveys. The survey will be open to the public until July 5, 2019, and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. In addition to the survey, a series of community conversations will occur. These opportunities will be advertised as they become available.

“We are asking for the community’s help with identifying current housing and homelessness needs within Red Deer, and ideas to address those needs in our communities by completing our survey,” saidHercina. “This valuable input will help us ensure this community plan is truly reflective of the community’s needs.”

Click here to go to the survey!

For more information about the CHHIP, please visit: http://www.reddeer.ca/city-government/mayor-and- city-councillors/council-committees/our-committees/community-housing–homelessness-integrated- plan/

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june, 2019

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