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Volunteer Central’s Volunteer of the Month – Siham Ahmed


Written by Ryan Charles Parker

The world needs rich people. Not rich in material wealth, but people who are rich in character and compassion. Those who have faced down challenges and overcome difficulties and use them constructively. People that can help. People that can help others learn how to help themselves. People like Siham Ahmed.

A refugee from Somalia, Siham knows what it is like to find hope in a new land. As a matter of fact, she was a client of the Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E.) before she volunteered for the organization. As she told me, “yes, I use C.A.R.E.’s services. I attend ESL courses. I accessed interpreter myself when I first came to Canada.”

Now she is paying it forward. Volunteer Program Coordinator at C.A.R.E., Elzbieta Sawicka said about Siham, “Siham is a dedicated volunteer with C.A.R.E.”

Especially adept at learning and teaching languages, her knowledge of the English language allows her to help in many areas of the Central Alberta Refugee Effort. She explained to me, “as a general volunteer, I help at the reception, answering the phone and referring clients to staff. As (an) interpreter, I help clients with limited or no English to communicate with others during their appointments.”

 Sawicka echoed the value that Siham brings to the organization: “As she speaks several languages, she is a very vital part of our translation/interpretation support services.”

And, as previously mentioned, she is greatly appreciated at C.A.R.E..  As Sawicka says, “Siham is friendly and curious to learn new things. She is very motivated to learn new skills that will help her integrate into Canadian society and find her future career. It’s a pleasure to have her around.”

What does Siham get out of volunteering at C.A.R.E.? “I volunteer because I can meet people, make friends from different cultures. It helps me also improve my language.”

 It is this dual effort of learning and teaching that makes her such a special volunteer. And it is the reason why she is being awarded the Volunteer of the Month.

Volunteer Central strives to build a strong, connected and engaged community through volunteerism.


Wonder How the Old Folks are Doing




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#WithGlowingHearts thanks employers who support Reservists



#WithGlowingHearts thanks employers who support Reservists

As Canada works to overcome the pandemic challenges, #Reservists are being mobilized to assist. With many thanks to ‪#Employers who support them to do important work on behalf of us all. Employers also have access to tools for support such as “With Glowing Hearts” Reservist Support Program & CERP (Compensation for Employers of Reservist Program). When Employers support Reservists, they too serve our country. Thank you! @CFLCCA ‪#CAF.

Reservists play an integral role in the companies and organizations they work for outside of their military careers.  Here are three interviews that were conducted in Edmonton in 2019. They showcase the way employers and reservists support each other.  If you’re an employer who is considering hiring a Reservist, these videos will provide some real world insights from both employers and reservists.

Here is an interview with Sean Pascek, Vice President with Prostar Energy/Well Service about the benefits his company has gained from employing reservist Master Corporal Wolfgang Brettner as their company’s Safety Manager. Interview was conducted in summer of 2019

Meet Kevin MacLeod, interviewed here in his role as Managing Senior Principal of Stantec Geomatix and Captain Vikesh Malhi, a reservist and Project Manager with Stantec.  Interview was conducted in summer of 2019.

Cory Stockley, Dispatch Manager with Tag Logistics and Master Warrant Officer Andrew Gordey discuss their relationship and the mutual benefits of having a reservist on staff. 

Click for more information on #WithGlowingHearts

About the Canadian Forces Liaison Council:  The Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) is a national organization comprised of over 200 senior executives and community leaders within the private and public sectors who volunteer their time to encourage employer/educator support for the Reserve Force.

We work in partnership with the Department of National Defence to engage employers, educational institutions and other organizations to emphasise how valuable reserve service is to Canadian communities and the defence of Canada. The CFLC’s objective is to raise awareness among organizations and show how they can benefit by employing reservists and take advantage of the special leadership and skills training reservists receive.

We aim to educate employers of the special skills that reservists have to enable them to fulfill their military obligations and attend training courses. To do this, the Council has worked with the Defence Team to develop and deliver a wide range of effective employer support programs such as ExecuTreks. Connecting to the business community, these programs inform, engage, educate, recognize and support employers and their reservist employees.

CFLC also delivers provincial and national awards programs to recognize employers and educational institutions who demonstrate, above and beyond, support of Reservists and the Canadian Reserve Force. The Reserves form a critical component of Canada’s Defence Strategy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – and are prepared to answer the demand as our military is increasingly called to action.

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april, 2020

fri17apr10:00 am9:00 pmFeaturedOur Best to You Spring Handmade Market10:00 am - 9:00 pm Westerner Park, Parkland & Prairie Pavilions, 4847A-19 Street Event Organized By: Signatures Shows Ltd