Become a Public Speaking Mentor

TBaker Find a Mentor News

Volunteer Mentors will help newcomer participants practice Public Speaking and relevant skills in a small group setting. Successful mentors must commit for the program duration and some extra hours as required by the program.

Mentors must be fluent in English with knowledge and life experience in Canada of five years or more. Mentors are matched with participants for extra support and guidance.

Mentors must have experience in public speaking, coaching, group facilitation and have the ability to engage participants of varying skills and language levels. Experience working with immigrants/ refugees would be an asset as group participants are mostly newcomers.

Exceptional communication and people skills are required. Additional skills that would be assets are: flexibility (in terms of program delivery), creativity, self-motivation and bringing new ideas/ activities to support learning of the newcomer participants.

Mentors would be expected to develop program material/offer short presentations to achieve the program objectives.

Mentors are required to attend mandatory orientation session.

Police clearance and reference check is required.

Mentors will receive certificate of appreciation at the end of the program.

Program Structure:

Currently, this program is designed to run bi-weekly for 7 consecutive weeks and once in a year!

Each session is 2.5 hours long which includes presentation, discussion on related topics and hands-on practice and homework assignments (if required).

The last session is generally about presenting final speeches (if the attendees decide to do so) followed by group photos, awarding certificates and a potluck party.

Please contact Rubeen for any questions or further details at 416-588-6288 x 231 |

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CultureLink Helps Syrians Transition to Employment

ClaudiaR Find a Mentor News, Syrian-related News

By Hanaa Al Sadi

The experience of transitioning to life in Canada is different for every newcomer, but all newcomers need support and time to become accustomed to their new communities and adapt to a whole new life in Canada.

CultureLink provides innovative programs which enable Syrians adapt to their new life based on their needs, skills, and job preferences.

Two prime examples are the Hospitality Language Training project and the Mothercraft childcare training project.

The Hospitality Language Training Project started in October 2017 in partnership with the Hospitality Workers Training Centre. It has run in three cohorts and was developed to help Syrian newcomers build their language and occupational skills and knowledge in the areas of food preparation, food safety and sanitation, guest services and customer relations, banquet and restaurant services. Already, 30 participants have participated in the program which has enabled them to improve their language skills, gain critical Canadian workplace cultural knowledge and job search techniques.

In the second case, CultureLink has partnered with Mothercraft College to provide basic training at no cost to Syrian women who are interested in providing quality child care in their own homes.

This program gives participants the tools they need to work successfully with children, parents and community agencies. It increases their level of professionalism and improves their communication skills. It helps them gain a better understanding of child development and children’s needs, make social connections with other providers and receive a training certificate that is recognized by GTA Home Child Care agencies.

While recruiting participants for these programs, I met with other future potential Syrian participants who are in need of employment and eager to join the workforce. However, the required English language level for these programs is CLB 4 and up while the English language level of the majority of interested Syrian newcomers ranges between CLB 2 up to CLB 4. Thus, to overcome this obstacle and to facilitate the possibility for Syrians to achieve their dreams, I started Syrian Online Support (SOS) English Conversation Circle via WhatsApp and email. I created a WhatsApp group that comprises all the participants who are willing and eager to improve their English language level and eventually join other programs. On August 7, 2017, 6 participants joined the WhatsApp. Now I have 27 participants. I used to meet with them online every day for one hour from 9:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m. where I explain the lesson in Arabic and English. Then, I create related worksheets and send to the group via the group email. Some of these participants improved their English and joined the Hospitality Program and one joined the Child Care Program.

CultureLink Family Storytelling Festival

GWalsh Events, News

Over the Family Day weekend, please join us to celebrate cultural stories from around the world.

Saturday, February 17, 2018, 12:30pm – 4:30pm &
Storytellers: Bernice Hune, Maya-waasige (aka John Keeshig), Itah Sadu and Lynn Torrie
Sunday, February 18, 2018, 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Storytellers: Rubena Sinha, Sarah Abusarar, Dawne McFarlane and Donna Dudinsky
Located at Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College Street

This is a FREE EVENT
Light refreshments will be served

We would like to acknowledge the support of the Government of Ontario. 
This event is a partnership between CultureLink Settlement and Community Services,
Toronto Public Library, Passages Canada and the Reading Line

What is in a Name

GWalsh News

An elderly Czech Roma couple came to seek help with their application for Permanent Residence, after the Immigration & Refugee Board recognized them as refugees.   One of the many forms we had to complete asked about the siblings of the applicant.

When it came to the siblings of the wife she told us that she has two brothers, both called Jan, a Czech version of John.  This puzzled me, and so I asked if any of her parents had children before they started to live together.  To which she replayed that both her brothers have the same parents as she has.

This made little sense to me.  How can there be two brothers with the same name?   So I asked her, why would her parents give the same name to two of their children?  To this, the woman answered that when her mother gave birth to her second son, she forgot that she already had one named Jan!

I tried to understand this and asked other people in the Roma community if they know how such a thing could happen.  Most had no idea, but one of them told me that it could be because many Roma are not called by their official name but only by a nickname, which becomes the only name that anyone around them uses and the official name is forgotten.  Exhausted by giving birth, the mother could have forgotten that one of her son is already called Jan, because no one used that name for him.

Job Success in Canada

GWalsh News

Kian was a Transportation Planner / Civil Engineer in Iran and when he arrived in Canada in 2016, he was confident that his decade of experience and wide range of technical skills would assure him of immediate employment. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Those skills that had driven him to success in Iran did not translate into the Canadian style of jobseeking.

To address the situation, he joined CultureLink’s Hit Restart Program for Engineers. After a week of training with other participants, he was ready to meet with AECOM staff for a speed mentoring event.  While on holiday in Iran not long after, he received an invitation for an interview. He rushed back and was connected to two HR specialists who volunteered for CultureLink and provided feedback to him in a number of online practice interviews. As a result of all this work, he aced the interview and now works for AECOM as a Transit / Rail Planner.

Kian Quote: “I can honestly say that the Hit Restart for Engineers program and connecting us to have a mentoring event with Aecom is one of my best experiences I have ever had. I always be thankful to you.”