field placement: day 1

welcomecentre

After weeks of trying to find the right place for my field placement, I was finally able to get in touch with The Peel District School Board’s We Welcome the World Centre! I was very happy and excited to have gotten the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing organization. 🙂

The ‘We Welcome the World Centre’ is a wonderful establishment targeted toward helping those who are new to Canada. Programs that are offered here are designed to assist newcomers in overcoming cultural barriers and adjusting to the new environment.

These are some of the services offered at the Welcome Centre:

    • receive an orientation interview, to assist us in registering your child for school
    • get information about education in Ontario, the Peel District School Board, your role in school, and how to help your child succeed
    • learn about adult education and English classes
    • get referrals to community groups (i.e. employment and training, housing, health care)
    • learn about volunteering in Canada, and making connections with your community
    • access computers with Internet access

         (retrieved from the Peel website) 

More information about the Welcome Centre can be found here!

The multicultural nature of Canada, and the several facilities that are available to those who have recently immigrated here, have always been one of my favourite things about this country. I still remember always feeling very welcome and “at home” in this country when I first immigrated here with my family.

When considering the great amount of diversity here in Canada, as well as the increasing levels of immigration, an organization such as this is a great thing to have! Being a part of such an organization – no matter in how small a role – makes me feel like I am finally able to give back to the community that I have always appreciated growing up in.

Furthermore, with the recent wave of immigration of Syrian refugees, it is the perfect time to volunteer at the Welcome Centre. I have always heard about the Syrian refugees, and was so proud to be in a country with such a welcoming environment. This volunteering placement gives me the opportunity to become more personally involved in contributing to this amazing initiative. To know that in some way, I am able to do something to help so many wonderful individuals, makes me very happy. 🙂

Monday, February 22 was my first day of volunteering at the We Welcome the World Centre. There are three locations for the Welcome centre – one in Brampton, one in Malton, and one in Mississauga. I am doing my placement in the Mississauga location (100 Elm Drive West).  During my first visit, I stayed there from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Upon arriving, as I walked through the halls, I could already see the diversity of individuals at the location. There were all kinds of people there; so many different ages and races. First, I met with the supervisor, Mohsen Mahmoud, who was very kind, informative and ready to introduce us to our duties as volunteers. After the introductions and preliminary process of filling out some forms, I was excited to start my first job at We Welcome the World Centre.field placement 01 - 1

The supervisor led us to a portable, where donations for the Syrian refugees were being kept. There were a ton of clothes, dinnerware, toys, shoes and so on. My job was to organize and sort all of the donations into categories such as “women’s clothes”, “men’s clothes”, etc. I was very pleased to feel our community’s generosity as I was going through the bags and piles of wonderful donations in the portable.

In the process of doing so, I found quite a few little treasures!

field placement 01 - 3.jpg

Many of the donations were new, or in very good condition! Someone even donated a fancy pair of sunglasses! (see picture 1 above) The amount of donations was overwhelming! The piles of clothing were getting so big, I felt as though they were going to topple over!

I was in the portable for only three hours this time, but even within these three hours, about ten more bags of valuable donations were dropped off! It is so great to see that our diverse community has been so willing to take the effort to help out the Syrian refugees.

field placement 01 - 2

I truly hope all of these will be of good use to those who need it.

My first day of volunteering was pretty great. 🙂 All of the staff were very welcoming, helpful and friendly, and I am glad to be working with them. Although I did not get to interact with any of the individuals at the Welcome Centre, for now, knowing that I am doing something for the Syrian refugees and the good of the community is enough for me! 

I am really looking forward to what is to come and hoping to have opportunities to meet and talk to some of the people in my next few visits!

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