Toronto PWA trains volunteers to assist community members

“As part of our efforts to integrate new immigrants into the Canadian society while deepening more meaningful community engagement, the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA) as an organisation embarked on a program to equip our valued volunteers with the necessary skills to effectively support not only our service users but also the wider PWA community,”

She said that this initiative not only equips volunteers with practical skills but also fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Canadian society’s diversity and inclusivity.

Reflecting on his experience, Daniel Iswell Ogadinma, remarked “The session has been incredibly impactful for me because I have never had this kind of experience or understanding about how things work here as a newcomer. Today, I’ve learned a lot and have gained so much information about the local dynamics.

‘’At PWA, I’ve been involved in several departments simultaneously, including the community kitchen and the therapeutic care department. I’ve also mingled with various groups, thereby gaining skills and impacting both myself and the community.

“I now understand my rights better and recognize the importance of respecting the rights of others. PWA feels like home to me now, and I’m loving it more and more.”

Caroline Tonya, stressed the importance of understanding Canadian culture and respecting individual preferences.

According to her, “Volunteering has taught us valuable lessons in interacting with Community Members, understanding their needs, and the responsibilities that come with it. I also learned that one of the supports I can offer is to give listening ear without judgement as part of efforts to proffer solutions to their plight.”

Jesus Alfonso said the training has exposed him to how to interact with other members of the society.

“Today’s training was very important to me because it cleared up all the doubts, I had about Toronto PWA and the support, guidance, and rules it provides, affirming that we are all the same people with the support we also have as individuals living with HIV. This session cleared up all my doubts and was extremely interesting.”

Naomi Mwaura applauded the training for its educational value, particularly in promoting respect for the rights of others and working inclusively with diverse people.

Naomi also noted that understanding terms, pronouns, and the challenges community members face is  crucial at all times.

Volunteering for Toronto PWA Abdulkadir Khamis has gained Canadian experience which, he does not take for granted.

Abdulkadir also expressed gratitude for the training, highlighting the enriching experience of learning about Canadian culture and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds.

He added that learning about the Indigenous Peoples including their histories, and experiences enabled him recognise the  important role Indigenous People play in shaping Canada.

Stella Moyinoluwa Odeyemi expressed enthusiasm for learning about Indigenous culture and hoped to foster friendships within the community.

Stella urged Toronto PWA not to relent in its efforts in training newcomers and  immigrants to make them integrate perfectly into the society.

Toronto PWA

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