Sunday, April 3, 2016

IofC’s presentation to North Sudanese leads to workshop for volunteering with immigrant seniors

Calgary, February 26, 2016-- A February 14  presentation by Janyce Konkin, IofC’s Regional Coordinator of Programs in Alberta to a North Sudanese community group, led to a full day trustbuilding workshop on February 25  to another group working with immigrant seniors. 

Altamas for Peace and Development Association, the not-for-profit North Sudanese group invited Janyce to make a presentation on IofC’s philosophy and programs as part of their Family Day celebrations on February 14. The event with the theme: “Building Capacity in Community through People Empowerment” was attended by approximately 35 members from Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. 

The Edmonton Sudanese and the local Calgary Sudanese expressed an interest in further trustbuilding workshops. A trustbuilding workshop had been held with the Altamas Group in 2013.  Stay tuned as details are worked out for future workshops. 

As a referral from the Altamas presentation IofC was asked to present a full-day trustbuilding workshop to the “Elder Brokers” Program at the Ethnocultural Council of Calgary (ECCC) on February 25, 2016.  The ‘Elder Brokers’ work with seniors in numerous different immigrant communities to help them integrate into Canadian society. There were brokers from Iraq, India, Pakistan, Colombia, China, Poland, Somalia, and Philippines among others.

Seventeen participants learned more about how to build trust amongst themselves, and between themselves and the new immigrants with whom they volunteer. When asked to share the most valuable part, one participant stated that he thought the video The Imam & The Pastor provided a most practical example of trustbuilding. Another said that she enjoyed the activities where people shared their stories because “the more I got to know their personal stories, the more I am building trust with them.” 

Many participants commented that it was the best workshop they had attended because it had many interactive exercises that were backed up by reflective moments to help them integrate what they were learning. “I truly appreciated this workshop for trustbuilding. It is not a common workshop that’s offered anymore but it is much needed to be reinforced.” said one participant.

Janyce Konkin, Calgary