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Volunteering in Times of Covid

CultureLink Mentorship News

Edward Haddad believes that “engaging the public with awareness sessions on various healthcare topics during this critical time is vital to model healthy behaviour, allow for efficient communication between the community and healthcare professionals and hope for a healthy environment.”

Edward is a PharmD student at the University of Waterloo and has been a volunteer with CultureLink’s Community Connections Mentorship Program (CCMP) since 2019. As a mentor for one of our English Conversation Circles, he shares his knowledge of the healthcare industry with our newcomer clients. The group meets weekly and our staff suggests health-related topics (based on the needs of the group, and requests made by participants) that he prepares to present during one of the sessions.

With this methodology, newcomers are able to practice their listening skills, improve reading comprehension of presentation slides, and gain confidence in speaking to ask questions and comment on the subject. When technical terminology is necessary, our staff is keen to help explain their meaning, and also to help translate difficult expressions from the participants’ native languages.

The quarantine has changed the way this program is delivered, but not its essence. Volunteers, more than ever, are committed to continuing to help our clients through virtual sessions. It is by sharing our knowledge that we create community.

Edward’s last presentation was titled ‘The Best Way to Deal with Covid-19 – Strengthening the Immune System Plus Other Preventive Methods’. Since the pandemic started, health has become a trending topic and participants had expressed the need for information on this subject. They learnt about the Coronavirus, and how to lead a comprehensive healthy lifestyle in order to boost their and their families’ immune systems. Edward went one step further and also made himself available to answer all of their questions after the presentation.

Thank You, Edward, we hope you know how much we appreciate your contribution and efforts.