I wanted to let you know a little about COSTI.
My husband does not volunteer much, but when he discovered COSTI he decided that he would volunteer for this.
COSTI is an immigration service that pairs a seasoned Canadian with a new immigrant. This new immigrant can be a permanent resident or could have refugee status. The purpose of this is for the seasoned Canadian to assist the new immigrant with integrating into everyday Canadian life.
My husband were paired with a couple from mainland China named Maggie & Max (their English names). He met them once a week for a few months and assisted them with practicing their English, writing their resumes, reading skills and any other questions they had.
Now that the volunteer period is over, Maggie & Max remain close friends of ours. We meet them for dinner every once in a while and they’ve flourished. Maggie now works for an accounting firm downtown and Max is enrolled in an adult ESL class. They live in their own apartment and are completely self-sufficient. They’ve even flourished enough to be able to visit their hometowns in the last year and to take a week long vacation to Barbados together! I’m so proud of them – their immigration to Canada could not have been easy.
During the COSTI program, we went on a COSTI sponsored day trip with several volunteer hosts and immigrant families to Niagara. There we met other couples, one in particular who were refugees. It is amazing how much people go through for a better life – and it’s amazing what they are grateful for….usually the things we normally take for granted.
I hope you are willing take advantage of the opportunity COSTI gives you as a Canadian – new friends, sense of pride in assisting your fellow man, learning more about your country and yourself & opening your eyes to other people’s reality. All for free.