From Just Landed to Landing a Job in 4 Months

CultureLink Cybersecurity Training Program

Nimita is a BTech graduate with extensive IT experience. She came to Canada on September 2021 with her family. “Traveling during a pandemic with our 4 year-old daughter was not easy. We had to go through strict COVID tests”.

They left their home many thousand miles away in India, and landed in Toronto in the middle of lockdowns and restrictions. “Being a newcomer and having to stay away from people due to COVID was very hard. Getting acclimated to the newfound weather and environment was altogether a struggle at the beginning, and it became worse once I started searching for jobs”.

The job search proved to be the most difficult part of their settlement process. She was trying to find a suitable job in her field and getting barely any responses.

Nimita came to know about CultureLink’s Cybersecurity Training Program through a Linkedin post. “I immediately registered after going through the course details”. She attended the information session and decided to enroll. The first thing on her to-do list was to complete the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmarks) test to fulfill the eligibility criteria. “The 8-week training program that started on December 6, 2021 gave me a sense of hope and optimism. It gave me direction to bring about a positive change to achieve my goals”. Learning about her new country, its various cultures and specially its job market helped light a new path in her career, which was lacking until then.

The first part of the training was about building a well-structured and professional resume. She learnt how to best portray her skills and abilities and was able to update her resume and Linkedin profile to Canadian standards. The result? It took almost no time to get shortlisted for the jobs she wanted. “I was called for an interview soon after and got a job offer in a renowned financial institute”. She started working the first week of January 2022, which didn’t get in the way of her completing the program.

She was able to attend all the remaining evening classes and found the training helpful in more than one way. “Though I have around five years of experience in Identity & Access Management, which is an integral part of Cybersecurity, the foundation course gave me exposure to other aspects of Cybersecurity and helped to identify myself with new interests in this field. It is also a great opportunity to talk to people of similar interests, attend group discussions and share views/opinions; a wonderful medium to network and collaborate. The major highlight of the program is that we got training from senior professionals/experts in this field who are always ready to help and support us whenever needed.”

Moving to a new country is never easy, but with a little help things start happening sooner rather than later. For Nimita, this help came in the shape of a training program, which led to her and her family feeling more at home in their new home. “Thank you CultureLink for your immense support and encouragement, which is helping me in great ways to adapt to new ways of living here in Canada.”

#YourNewCanadianLifeStarts Here.

A Settlement Testimonial

Sarah Ahsan SWIS News

As a Settlement organization, we want to make sure that new Canadians have access to the information and resources they need. Our job is to ensure that the transition into their new home is smooth and as easy as possible. With so much to do after moving to a different country and the initial cultural shock, the experience can be overwhelming. Our team is ready to assist individuals and families and get them from just-landed to settled.

Following is the story of one successful settlement process, written by the client who reached out and received guidance from our Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) Program.

My name is Hamada Kassam and it is my pleasure to share with you my story. I am a Syrian newcomer and assistant professor of literature and academic writing. I landed in Canada as a permanent resident in June 2019, coming from Dubai, UAE. I came to Canada with my family (my wife and our son), and we were blessed with another son here in Mississauga, Ontario. It has been an amazing new chapter in our lives so far. Nothing takes the pleasure of seeing our children grow and embrace the happy, enriching school life as well as the abundance of greenery and kindness Canada generously offers.

I would like to seize this opportunity to thank CultureLink Settlement and Community Services, I met one of their settlement workers through my connections. I was fortunate and grateful to find them upon arriving in Canada to provide us with the main skills and services that enabled me and my family to settle down. They have assisted me since the moment I landed here. They have helped me and my family to settle down quickly and do everything a newcomer should do in order to adapt and cope in a new country and become an effective member of the community. They kept us informed and updated on the latest news and developments that a newcomer should be aware of. Also, they have always been there whenever I needed information and guidance.

We are thankful for the great initiatives taken by the SWIS team at CultureLink to assist and support newcomer families in Canada, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their work is moving and inspiring. Their impressive work has enabled me to quickly focus on finding a job and successfully navigate the job market. I am now a high school English and social science teacher who significantly contributes to the community in building and shaping new generations of students in Ontario.

Dr. Hamada Kassam

Holiday Smiles

CultureLink Settlement in the Community News, SWIS News

CultureLink’s Youth and Children Centre was the location of our latest indoor event, one of the very few we have been able to host this year for our newcomer clients.

Following health guidelines and protocols, the reception area was turned into an elf-workshop where our staff worked hard to sort and pack dozens of presents for families and children in the community.

Led by our new CEO Jemima Sabapathy and under the direction of program managers Dina Elton and Abdi Yousuf, CultureLink’s SWIS (Settlement Workers in School) and LSP (Library Settlement Partnership) Programs joined hands to quickly organised an especial event. In a very short period of time, our teams were able to produce a safe and socially-distanced Christmas-gift-giving day, demonstrating resiliency, consistency and our ongoing commitment to the communities we serve.

We received presents from many community donors, including organizations such as CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish, Kids Up Front Toronto, CICS, Mimico Angels and other private sponsors. We thank all of you for your generous contributions!

For us, this event was proof that even under difficult times, we can count on the community for support and come together to put a smile in kids’s faces. No pandemic can stop us from showing new Canadians what we are all about!

A very special thanks and congratulations to our front-line workers and part-time Santa helpers Claudia and Marianella for helping make this day possible.

Happy Holidays to all!

CultureLink Post Banner News

CultureLink Welcomes New CEO

CultureLink News

CultureLink’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Jemima Sabapathy as CultureLink’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Jemima, an empowering and strategic leader, brings a wealth of leadership experience in organizational management, operations and change management at leading organizations in the not-for-profit sector. Jemima is driven by a passion for making a difference in the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people within local communities.

“We’re excited that Jemima will lead CultureLink into its next chapter,” said Helen Latimer, Chair of the CultureLink Board of Directors. “Jemima’s years of leadership in the settlement sector, along with her personal perspective and character, will better enable CultureLink to achieve its mission to serve the needs of diverse communities.”

Jemima came to Canada as a skilled professional from Sri Lanka. Her personal journey encouraged her to help others overcome challenges and build a successful life in Canada. In the two decades since, Jemima has held senior leadership roles at WoodGreen Community Services, JobStart, and Skills for Change and served newcomers, youth, seniors, persons with disabilities, and women. Before coming to Canada, Jemima held leadership positions in education and with U.S. Peace Corps and VSO.

Jemima has been instrumental in the sustainability, growth, and expansion of organizations she worked for. She successfully led innovation, strategic planning, diversification of funding resources, labour relations, managing change and risk management.

“As an immigrant woman of colour, it is my honour and privilege to lead CultureLink, an organization with such a rich history helping newcomers successfully settle and succeed in Canada,” said Jemima Sabapathy. “I look forward to continuing my journey and empowering others to make a difference in the lives of people in need.”

Jemima starts as CultureLink’s CEO on November 15, 2021, replacing Interim Executive Director Raj Chakrawarti who will resume his role as CultureLink’s Finance Director.

Project 2050

CultureLink Uncategorised

We are excited to announce the launch of Project 2050: Climate-friendly habits to change the world!

This national movement, powered by Earth Rangers in partnership with CultureLink, is about empowering children with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle climate change. Project 2050 teaches children and youth that our habits can have a big impact on the planet, and by working together, we can build a more climate-resilient future.

Canada is one of over 120 countries that has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050! This commitment is crucial for the well-being of present and future generations. Achieving this goal requires action from everyone. This means that all levels of government as well as civil society organizations, businesses, and individuals, just like you, need to work together!

CultureLink invites children across the country to contribute to Canada’s climate-resilient future by participating in Project 2050. Learn more about Project 2050

“Today’s children will be the country’s political, business, cultural, and philanthropic leaders during the critical years of implementing Canada’s plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Igniting their passion, creativity, and optimism is critical to ensuring they’re ready to meet the challenge. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!” – Tovah Barocas, President of Earth Rangers.