Volunteer Opportunity: Settlement Mentor, Settlement Volunteer Program

Location: ISSofBC – Burnaby

The Organization:The Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) is one of the largest immigrant-serving agencies in Canada, with a national and international reputation in the field of migrant issues and services for immigrants and refugees. Since 1972 we’ve been providing a variety of support services for immigrants and refugees to help them get settled, find careers and learn all they need to know about starting their new lives in Canada. Through our dedicated staff, volunteers and community partners, we provide settlement, education and employment services for over 20,000 clients every year.

The Role: Facilitation – Volunteer Mentor, Settlement

ISSofBC Volunteers play a key role in achieving the organization’s mission, “helping newcomers build a future in Canada.” Volunteers support newcomer immigrants to smoothly settle and integrate into Canadian society in many different aspects of the settlement process. One of the ways is to help newcomers learn more about Canadian culture and heritage and to help improve their communication skills and confidence in their settlement journey into Canadian society, living in BC and becoming an active member of their local community.

Location of Assignment: ISSofBC Burnaby
207-7355 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC V3N 4Z6
 

Delivery:

Online or In-Person
 

COVID-19 Information:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ISSofBC is currently adapting the ‘hybrid (online/hybrid) volunteering model’. Volunteers will have the option to share their time and skills remotely, over the internet and in-person.
 

Vaccination Policy:

 

Please refer to our mandatory volunteer policies.

 

Key Duties & Responsibilities

  • Support newcomers to Canada in their initial settlement and be a resource for connecting them to the community
  • Provide orientation, cultural awareness and creating a conducive environment for successful integration into Canadian society and Canadian culture

 Qualifications

 Knowledge

  • Familiarity/experience in group facilitation
  • Familiarity with online video communication platforms/conferencing apps such as Zoom and Telegram
  • Good command of the English language and communication skills
  • Advanced English level – Canadian Language Benchmark or CLB 5 or higher
  • Cross-cultural experience or commitment to learn about others’ culture

Skills, Abilities, and Attitudes

  • Ability to converse with people from various backgrounds and levels of English – Canadian Language Benchmark Basic CLB 1-4 and Intermediate CLB 5-8
  • Ability to exchange ideas with participants through communication, active listening, and non-verbal cues
  • Proven ability to build and maintain positive and professional relationships with participants, staff, and other volunteers
  • Good listener, flexible, patient, and empathetic towards the newcomer participants
  • Creative and innovative
  • Adaptable and open to changing methods and plans of the sessions
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and can function well in a diverse cultural atmosphere
  • Demonstrates a genuine interest in learning more about newcomer experiences

 Other requirements

  • Volunteers for this role must be at least 18 years old
  • Completion of the volunteer information session
  • Completion of training sessions, observe other online/in-person conversation circle sessions
  • If working online, access to a computer or laptop device
  • Access to a stable internet connection
  • Successful volunteers must submit proof of vaccination (COVID-19)
  • Successful vulnerable sector criminal record check (CRC)

Boundaries and Expectations

  • Always respect confidentiality
  • Respect participants decisions
  • Maintain professional relationships (exchanging of phone numbers is discouraged, engaging participants on social networking sites should be avoided)
  • Focus on the present, not the past, unless participants share 

 Training

 Volunteers for this position are required to complete the following:

  • Online Volunteer Orientation, Understanding Settlement, and Integration process

 Benefits

 Volunteers will have the opportunity to:

  • Access specific training for the role.
  • Learn more about the migration, settlement, and integration process
  • Request for Volunteer Confirmation Letter
  • Increase cultural competency and learn different perspectives in the lens of newcomer immigrants
  • Enhance facilitation skills
  • Add Canadian experience to resume (or close the gap)

 Time Frame / Level of Commitment

  • Volunteers for this position must commit to at least three months
  • Possible placement extension upon agreement
  • Period of volunteering – Short-term to long-term

 Application Process and Screening Measures

  • Interested volunteers must fill out the online application
  • Once the application form is complete, the potential volunteer will undergo an in-person interview (following ISSofBC COVID-19 safety protocols)
  • Potential volunteers must be willing to travel to the Burnaby office
  • The potential volunteer must successfully pass the vulnerable sector Police Information Checks through the RCMP, or the Criminal Records Check through the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
  • It will take at least 5 business days for us to contact you once your application has been received. The volunteer screening process generally takes 3 to 4 weeks to complete

Frequency of the recruitment for the position

Ongoing, quarterly.

Staff Contact

For questions and clarifications, please contact:

Fatoumata Niane
Coordinator, Volunteer Programs
Telephone Number:  604-395-8000 Ext. 1633
Email address:  fatoumata.niane@issbc.org