When newcomers arrive in Canada, the experience can be overwhelming. They must learn how to navigate everyday life in an unfamiliar country, with a different culture, different systems, and different customs. Finding their financial footing can be a challenge. Through community-based support groups, the New Foundations program gives newcomers the opportunity to develop essential life skills.
Get Involved through Volunteer Mentorship
As a mentor within the Victoria MCC BC New Foundations Program team, you will provide ongoing support and friendship to a New Foundations participant (single parent newcomer to Canada).
Purpose of assignment: To be a mentor and friend to one or more New Foundations participants.
Time commitment: One or two hours once per week or every two weeks. Optional - attendance at New Foundations workshops (on alternate Wednesday mornings for two hours).
Tasks and responsibilities include:
- Consult and plan with the New Foundations Program Coordinator to determine which participants are most in need of a mentor and appropriate ways to be a mentor-friend, e.g. go for a walk together, visit a playground or community library with the participant and his/her children, etc.
- Complete a vulnerable person check or provide this document if it is already completed.
- Attend a volunteer orientation.
- Optional attendance in the New Foundations workshops where you will interact with participants and participate in individual/group learning activities.
- Initiate friendships with New Foundations participants and begin to connect more deeply with one or more participants.
- Invite one or two participants to do an activity with you in between New Foundations workshops, e.g. go for a walk, visit a park, etc.
- During these outings, listen to the participant(s); respond in a kind, supportive way to their questions and concerns; guide them to discover answers to their questions through community resources, websites, etc.
- Provide ongoing support and encouragement to participants as they work through program material including goal setting, budgeting, resume writing, etc.
- Periodically send texts or emails to let the participant(s) know you are thinking of them.