A new multicultural centre volunteer is encouraging people to consider helping newcomers.
Currently, the Timmins and District Multicultural Centre has about five volunteers and it needs at least five more to function smoothly, said welcoming communities co-ordinator Jaspreet Kaur.
Jasneet Kour started volunteering with the organization two weeks ago.
Her inspiration came from her own experience a couple of years ago.
“When I came to Timmins as a student, I faced many problems. I thought I should help the newcomers now,” she said.
Kour had a hard time and a bad experience as an international student in 2019.
"I still remember (being) at Timmins Transit, and I was crying because I couldn’t spend more money for a motel stay. That time, my friends helped me,” she remembered.
As a volunteer, she picks people up from the airport, helps them find accommodations or a job, and deals with landlords. She said the work gives her positive energy and she is asking more people to join the organization.
"For sure, I am going to do this for a longer period. I don't want to stop this. Because this will help the newcomers,” she said.
Currently, the organization needs volunteers for many services, including settlement and orientation, social events, interpretation, and employment support.
Kaur thinks the settlement program needs more attention.
She said many people in Timmins don’t know the government programs that are available to the public. Kaur wants to maximize the reach through more volunteers.
"If they have experience as an immigrant and know people's needs, they can make it. Also, bilingualism or multilingualism is an asset, but not mandatory," she said.
She also thinks there is a need for more volunteers now because immigration has increased as the pandemic has slowed down.
She is grateful and impressed with Kour’s work.
“I feel like she is a perfect fit, and she is doing great for the community," she said.
“Volunteering is a great way to get to know the community while learning the Canadian culture," she added.
People interested in volunteering should email Kaur at email@example.com.
Jinsh Rayaroth, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com