Toronto, Aug 26 (IBNS): The YMCA of Greater Toronto Area’s community and newcomer settlement services wing Next Stop Canada welcomed over a hundred newcomers and immigrants through their celebratory program #FinalStopON.
YMCA’s Next Stop Canada has been helping new immigrants for a long time with their pre-arrival settlement services. Ever since an applicant decides to start a life in Canada, YMCA’s Next Stop Canada helps them from connecting mentors to conducting language assessments, advisory job counselling, resume writing and above all creating a network to relate to people in Canada even before they arrive.
“Every journey has many challenges, and in every challenge, we grow. At Next Stop Canada we connect people to partner communities to spread the sense of community building, make people feel healthy and happy to build a strong, inclusive Canadian community, that is different from other places in the world,” says Teresa Costa, General Manager, Immigrant Services, YMCA of Greater Toronto.
“We are privileged to have the diversity of diversities in the Greater Toronto Area,” says Medhat Mahdy, YMCA of Greater Toronto, President and CEO. He adds, “Being an immigrant is integral to my identity and am very proud to be a Canadian.”
The event focussed strongly on immigrant success stories and featured a guest panel of eminent personalities who immigrated from different parts of the world to make a life in Canada for themselves and their generations to follow. Jahan Ali, Founder & CEO, mobileLIVE, Farrukh Abbas, Regional Finance Manager, Canadian Blood Service, Taranum Khan, Project lead, Brampton Multicultural Centre, Inna Tuka, Manager, Executive Programs & Professional Development , Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA), Riyan Mody, IT Recruiter, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Bernadette Abad, Senior Accountant, ACA Group of Companies, were in the panel.
Emphasising the element of diversity in Canada, Farrukh Abbas says, “Diverse background has helped me get great jobs in different places. No job is big or small, explore everything and have your mind in a place to adapt.”
“Reach out to people to understand why and how you can update your skill, not just connecting for jobs. Adapt to the changes in your surrounding and stay persistent in your approach,” suggested Riyan Mody.
“Hard-work and consistency pay in real. Stay positive and focused, make sure you go above and beyond your regular call of duty to make people understand your true worth,” adds Jahan Ali.
Challenges come in different shapes and forms especially when one moves to a new country. Taranum Khan explains, “ I had a Ph.D. and was rejected in many places quoting I was overqualified for most jobs here when I came.” However she suggests, “Use your creativity and positivity to approach such situations. Be a volunteer and improve on your skills.”
“Toronto is a very competitive place, so make sure what distinguishes you from the rest becomes your headline to describe yourself,” suggests Bernadette Abad. “Staying positive will take you to places.”
“As a newcomer plan yourself well and focus on your finances as many people tend to get carried away,” explains Jahan Ali, who immigrated to Canada 20 years back with his wife to do his Masters in Mobile Communications from the University of Toronto.
He also adds, “It is critical to unlearn things. You may have been someone somewhere, but when you immigrate here as a newcomer, you have to start afresh. Your skills will help you to progress, but you definitely need to accept the new change and start fresh again.”
“Doing odd jobs or volunteering in different fields helps to build on your profile and your readiness to accept things, progress you in your career” says Inna Tuka. “You never know when hard work meets luck and it just strikes you.”
Apart from sharing stories, tips and guidelines to inspire and build a new life in Canada, the organizers along with their sponsors arranged workshops for language assessments, Canadian workplace culture adaptation, resume evaluation, recruitment drives in childcare, as well as settlement help for women, youth and new immigrants all across GTA.
(Reported by Debarati Mukherjee)