Suppose you’re immigrating to Canada or have just arrived. In that case, you’d be pleased to know that volunteer work in Canada is an excellent opportunity to get a foot in the door, gain direct experience in the Canadian workforce and, most importantly, broaden your horizons.
Volunteering in Canada is ideal for newcomers to build valuable experiences and nurture their network - who knows? You might stumble across like-minded professionals who could offer you a job opportunity.
In this article, we list some of the associations and organizations in Canada for immigrants, and volunteering opportunities that can get you ahead in Canadian culture and, possibly, the workforce.
Immigration Associations in Canada
When we volunteer, we choose to perform an act of service out of free will - we are giving our time freely, either for community services or to gain direct exposure to a particular industry, organization or job.
Whether you plan on travelling or settling in the country, there are bucket loads of volunteer work in Canada for immigrants that allows them to forge healthy relationships and valuable connections.
The Canadian government aims to help immigrants integrate smoothly into new communities by making certain project types accessible to newcomers. Immigrants can volunteer on certain projects based on their skills and needs.
As per the information on the Official Canadian Government website, below are some project initiatives listed in conjunction with immigrant service-providing organizations that extend counselling and settlement assistance to immigrants. These are as follows:
Aurora Therapy Program for Immigrant and Refugee Families
This program offers therapy to immigrants, refugees and families who have suffered traumas due to war, as well as families impacted by migration and parenting issues.
Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP)
The program offers pre-arrival services to individuals who are immigrating through the economic and family class pathways. The program aims to assist newcomers by preparing them for their relocation, settlement and employment in Canada.
Canadian Orientation Abroad
This initiative is a pre-departure orientation project which aims to provide as much information as possible to those immigrating to another country. The project is based on the concept that the more information is provided in advance, the better their chances of integrating smoothly into Canadian society.
Community Airport Newcomers Network
The Community Airport Newcomers Network (CANN) is aimed at foreign nationals arriving at the Vancouver International Airport, where information and referrals are given upon arrival. The information will contain steps on how to settle, as well as referrals to other organizations in Canada. Note that this is a once-off service.
Early Years Refugee Project (EYRP)
This is an early-learning centre for refugee children and their families. The idea is to meet the settlement and early childhood developmental needs while reducing the trauma experienced by refugee families and children.
This is a four-week program aimed at those settling in Manitoba. The idea is to introduce the English language and services in four main areas: getting around, health, laws, employment and education. For those who don’t have time to do the program over weeks, there is a one-week program, which is the express orientation.
If any of the abovementioned associations do not interest you, feel free to explore an abundance of other initiatives listed by the official Canadian Government website.
Volunteering Opportunities in Canada
Now that we’ve listed some associations or organizations in Canada that offer immigrants the opportunity to integrate more smoothly into communities let’s take a closer look at volunteer work in Canada.
According to the official Canadian government website, to find volunteer work in Canada, here are some databases you can explore:
Here are some additional helpful Resources that enable volunteer opportunities:
- Web series: newcanadians.tv
- Newspapers: Newspapers Canada
- Community: YMCA across Canada
Irrespective of where you end up in Canada, media outlets and publications are created for various cultures. You can research these groups online or check your local television guide. Creating friendships with your local neighbours can help you discover community activities and events that dedicate themselves to helping people in different cultures.
If your focus is on integrating more easily into Canadian communities, you can ask your professional Canadian immigration consultant about the latest available resources. Speak to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) today.
Six Benefits of Volunteering in Canada
Often, volunteer work experience is unpaid and held at non-profit organizations in Canada. However, there are many benefits to choosing this method of Canadian work experience:
Get Canadian Work Experience
This allows you to learn about the Canadian working world while adding this valuable experience to your resume.
Practice Your English or French
In this line of work, you will meet people from all over Canada, which is great if you need to brush up on your language skills. Practice makes perfect.
Make New Friends and Contacts
Creating friendships and meeting new people is easier when you spend time with them daily or weekly. Creating a network of friends can help you settle into a new country, and these people could also have valuable contacts to help you find a permanent job.
Get Canadian References
Gaining valuable references as a volunteer can help your CV stand out from the other applicants in your next job interview.
Develop New Skills
You may not know your capabilities until you work in this environment. You may learn interpersonal skills while helping people in need.
Learn about Your Community
Getting in touch with the needs of people in your area is easier when you are part of the volunteering community.
Canadian employers are always looking for candidates with some kind of Canadian work experience, and volunteer work in Canada is the ideal way to get in the door. Not only will you have a rewarding experience of helping others, but the network and exposure you gain will do wonders for your resume.
Volunteering In Canada Helps you Transition Smoothly Into Canadian Culture
Volunteering in Canada enables immigrants to rub shoulders with the right role players in key industries, depending on their interests and needs. As a result, not only do you build a good reputation for yourself by helping people in need, but you also get to nurture valuable connections.
Whether you plan to immigrate or travel in and around Canada, find out more with our immigration experts on the best available resources that enable volunteer work in Canada.
How do I Find Volunteer Work in Canada?
You can find opportunities on the official Canadian Government website.
Alternatively, we advise you to speak to our immigration experts, who are updated with the latest trends and changes.
Do Volunteers Get Paid in Canada?
No. Volunteer work is unpaid work that may be undertaken at non-profit organizations in Canada.
Are Volunteer Jobs Worth It?
Yes. While you may not earn a salary, you get direct exposure to the Canadian workforce and culture. This is deemed invaluable experience on your resume wherever you go into the world.