An “Old” Host Pair at AGM 2015

November 09, 2015

11 years ago, Sita came to CultureLink to volunteer. She was attracted by the Host Program’s idea of befriending a newcomer and became a volunteer host. The program matched Sita with Anna, a newcomer from Columbia who had virtually no English.

Anna was discouraged and wanted to go back home. Sita encouraged her and diligently worked with her to help her develop her language skills and her self-confidence. Sita and Anna have been friends ever since. With Sita’s help, Anna, who used to be a physical education teacher and a school principal in her native country, was soon able to master enough English to become a swimming instructor with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).

They kept in touch regularly even after the Host Program was finished and Sita continued to encourage Anna to move towards her goal of once again getting into the teaching profession. After working with the TDSB for a couple of years, Anna became a pool supervisor. She then went on to complete her Early Childhood Education Course in two years by studying part time. She completed the program in the spring of 2015.  She is currently working in the office of the TDSB in an admin position and is awaiting future placement as an Early Childhood Education teacher, thus fulfilling her ambition to once again returning to her chosen teaching profession.

Anna also inspired Sita, through her tremendous will to succeed, to take continuing education classes which helped to further Sita’s career with the provincial government. It was truly a win-win situation. On Oct 22, 2015 this pair of old friends came to CultureLink’s AGM together.

This is a living breathing testament of why cross-cultural friendship is an essential ingredient of an integrated Canada.

Fei Tang, CCMP Manager