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Canada Connects: Befriend a Refugee

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Canada Connects: Befriend a Refugee

Canada Connects program introduces newcomers to a volunteer – a partner who is well-established in the Calgary community. It is designed to create opportunities for broader integration of newcomers who have arrived as refugees, and to help them adjust to living in Calgary and make new connections. The program helps newcomers learn about Canadian cultural norms and expectations and develop English language skills in a relaxed and informal setting. Volunteers, whether individuals, couples, friends, or families, also explore other opportunities in which newcomers may be interested in. 

Immigrants come to our country ever year to build a new life for themselves and their families. They come from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and situations and face many challenges in their new home in Calgary. Canada Connects volunteers play a crucial role in making newcomers feel welcomed in their new community by spending time together, discussing various aspects of life in Calgary and making connections with individuals, groups, and organizations in the community. 

Volunteers in Canada Connects are carefully matched with newcomers based on common interests, professions, location, and other factors to ensure a supportive and meaningful connection. The match is then supervised by a Canada Connect staff member who will support both the volunteer and the family to help establish a successful relationship and guide the volunteer along the way. 

What do Canada Connects Volunteers do?

As a Canada Connects Volunteer, you will become a guide to life in your community and our city at large. It is an exciting chance for you or your whole family to meet new people and see your own community from a unique perspective. We kindly ask for your time, spending a minimum of two hours a week with your partner for a period of four to a year depending on what your availability looks like offering: 

Canada Connects volunteers are not expected to provide:


Who are Canada Connect Volunteers?

Canada Connects volunteers can be anyone who has desire to get involved, is over the age of 18, and has a clean police record. Our volunteers come from various backgrounds as individuals, couples, families, students, and working or retired folks.  

Who are the newcomers?

They are a wide variety of people from all walks of life, and from everywhere in the world. Some choose to leave their homeland in hopes of a better future. Others are forced to abandon their home because of war, economic or natural disasters, or political or religious persecution.  

Program Benefits:

What do Canada Connects Volunteers gain?

Becoming a Canada Connects volunteer will give you opportunities for professional developmental and experiences where you will gain the chance to enhance your knowledge and practice of:

Upcoming Events

More Information

Woman with toddler playing with a dandelion

This has by far been the most rewarding volunteer program I have ever been a part of in my life. The family I volunteer with has become like a second family to me. They have enhanced my life as much as I have enhanced theirs.

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Volunteer One

Giving back to the community has always been my passion. The CCIS program of Canada Connects is therefore an important tool through which my passion becomes more practical. The program structure that included training, and supportive staff, makes the experience of volunteering more enjoyable.

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Volunteer Two


Make A Direct Impact on Your Community by Donating to CCIS (Calgary Catholic Immigration Society).

We acknowledge all donors who contribute so generously to CCIS. Your contribution honours the courage and resiliency of Alberta’s newest residents.

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