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I have volunteered with The Stories of Us project as a…
Translator / Verifier, Event Volunteer

Tell us a bit about yourself. (Feel free to speak to your personal and professional background and experiences, as well as your hobbies and interests)
My father was Polish and my mother is Honduran, so I grew up speaking Polish and Spanish at home. I learned French at school, and English from TV. I worked for several years as an English-to-French translator before going back to school to get a degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies. I currently work for the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program, helping Francophone groups in Canada who wish to sponsor refugees, and I volunteer at the Matthew House welcome centre for refugee claimants. For fun, I like to travel and eat.

Why did you want to get involved with The Stories of Us project?
It’s been my dream for years to empower people to express themselves and tell their stories. So I was very excited that The Stories of Us does just that. I also just plain love hearing people’s life stories, in particular newcomers’. Finally, the fact that the written stories are used as ESL-materials struck me as a brilliant idea!

How would you describe your experience as a volunteer with The Stories of Us to a friend?
A gift and a privilege: I get to spend a few hours listening to or reading people’s stories, which is one of my favourite things ever.

How do you imagine Canada in 50 years from now? (This is a question that guides our work, and we would love to know and try to incorporate your vision into our work as well.)
A place where newcomers immediately feel welcomed and accepted and where they can easily find the resources they need. A place were newcomers, Indigenous people, and descendants of settlers really get to know each other and work together.

Blair

Blair is a trained playwright, designer by trade, and traveler for life. He is the Executive Director of the DIA and loves all kinds of food.

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