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Ramla Kamran | Volunteer Feature

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

CCIS, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, Calgary, Taylor Pronchuk, Volunteer

With a Bachelor's degree in Business Informatics and a Master's degree in Business Administration, Ramla was ready to start her professional career. However, after working for only one year as an online banker, she moved from Karachi, Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates with her family.

In the UAE, Ramla devoted herself to her children & supporting her community. For three years, she organized International Day activities at her children's school, a major event, that included international cuisines, clothing, & dance. The planning took months and involved various challenges. While this was hard work, it gave Ramla a diverse range of experiences & opportunities to develop new skills in event planning & fundraising. Through volunteering, she connected with her community and developed a strong network of support.

“It was difficult for us to leave everything behind and move to another country, but I chose Canada as my new home for the better future of my children and family.”

After nine years in the UAE, Ramla and her family moved to Calgary in July 2017. As a Permanent Resident, she was ready to settle down and start a career. With a strong belief in Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, Ramla looked forward to re-entering the job market. However, soon after arriving, she discovered it was not easy to start a career, due to the long gap in her professional experience and lack of skills for the modern workplace.

“This wonderful organization respected my skills and abilities, and provided me with a great chance to bridge the gap and enter the corporate world.”

Initially, Ramla applied to volunteer at CCIS as an Administration Assistant. Due to her work with community members who have low levels of English in UAE, Ramla was placed with the Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) Program. Currently, she volunteers weekly as a Teaching Assistant, where she enjoys serving new immigrants and refugees, developing new skills, and making new friends.

“Teachers and students have so much respect and care for me. Once I arrive, I only see happy faces welcoming me into my classroom, which motivated me and inspired me to share my skills and experience and make a difference in their lives.”

Volunteer work has helped Ramla to build her resume and career prospects. More importantly, the trust CCIS had in Ramla enhanced her confidence in herself. Today, Ramla volunteers at four non-profit organizations and looks forward to more exciting opportunities in the future.

“I didn't get a chance back home to start my career, but now I have the opportunity to find new ways to make my career.”

Ramla advises new Canadian immigrants to network & break through the language barrier to communicate with people who don’t share their first language. She also encourages newcomers to volunteer because it’s a great way to obtain Canadian experience.

“Volunteering requires patience and hard work, but there are plenty of prospects waiting for you out there, so stay calm and don't give up!”

For her 2020 vision, Ramla would like to see CCIS as “A building where immigrants and refugees have the opportunity to learn about their role in society and work together to achieve their goals and objectives.”

Thank you, Ramla! We hope all your goals and dreams will be achieved.



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