The SJMNRC would not be able to accomplish all it does without a significant number of volunteers. SJMNRC recruits and manages volunteers, often trains volunteers and newcomers with cultural diversity background knowledge, and encourages and engages newcomers and members of the existing ethnic groups to actively engage members of local community in any form of group activities through the volunteer program, and implementing the following activities:
- Conversational English Groups (Teachers wanted)
Volunteer teachers lead conversations using common daily English language in a newcomer group. As language teachers they need to prepare the conversation topics, and facilitate and stimulate the conversation practices in an English-only environment.
- One-on-one English Buddies (Buddies wanted)
Volunteer buddies meet with an adult newcomer for 1- 2 hours per week for 10 weeks. The Volunteer Engagement Officer sets up an initial meeting for a pair of buddies to meet, does a follow-up in the middle of the term, and another follow up at the end.
- Saturday Social Groups (Facilitators wanted)
Volunteer facilitators engage newcomers, members of local multicultural groups, and local individuals to meet for social chats on Saturdays. Different newcomers will join the group from time to time, and the volunteers will welcome each new person in the group. The volunteer will pre-prepare a listing of topics for discussion such as current events in Saint John, including relevant articles from the local newspaper, and facilitates the conversations accordingly.
- Newcomer Information Gathering and Distribution (Office helpers wanted)
The Newcomer Assistance team researches and prepares regular updates of information made available to newcomers, distributes to newcomers in written format, and/or makes available to PNP applicants on their exploratory visits. The Newcomer Assistance team also work with the Community Outreach, who provides appropriate contacts. For the coming year the team plans to develop a comprehensive written guide, to be updated annually, and to be made available electronically and well as in booklet form, containing all the information, content and resources relevant to newcomers to the region. Volunteers will be needed to assist in researching this material and reviewing this material before it is ready for use by newcomers.
SJMNRC also requires help in the office in a variety of different ways. The 4th floor reception area is volunteer-run, for example. Volunteers who manage this reception area gain experience working in an office environment and both PRUDE and SJMNRC will benefit as well by having someone available to greet, answer the telephone, and assist in other office-related tasks.
- Social Activities (Activity helpers wanted)
Events such as community BBQs, participation in the Dragon Boat Festival, SJMNRC Family Holiday Skating Party, etc are organized to entertain and enhance the newcomer’s social life, helping each newcomer feel happy, welcomed, and forge a greater sense of community in Saint John.
- Cultural Interpreters (Bilingual and multilingual speakers wanted)
Volunteers are actively recruited, trained, and managed, to help newcomers in the areas of health care, with governmental agencies, social service agencies, school districts and emergency settlement needs.
SJMNRC volunteers are supported by with English teaching materials, technical supplies, office supplies, professional advice, cultural diversity training, and other updated information available on both an individual and group basis. Volunteers participate in semi-annual TESL workshops, and learn and discuss their experiences with TESL professionals on how to actively engage newcomers in conversational groups. Newcomer volunteers (talent groups) performers have opportunities to become involved by helping with organizing multicultural events, and with their multilingual abilities they are also able to help our programs by assisting with newcomers who do not speak English.
If you want to become a volunteer, please complete the application online.
If you want more information about being a volunteer please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 506.642.4242.