Elham: From Newcomer to Welcomer

Meet Elham, a passionate Employment Specialist at IWC. Elham’s own immigration journey began in 2011 when she left Sudan under the skilled worker program. Today, she dedicates herself to supporting newcomers, much like herself, in their quest to establish themselves in Canada and find fulfilling employment.

Elham’s drive comes from her personal experience as an immigrant. She remembers the support from her first employment counselor. After studying Counselling in college and kick-starting her career as a workshop facilitator, she continued to pursue her unwavering goal to work with newcomers, providing them with structured guidance for successful outcomes.

 

In her role, Elham goes beyond job search support; she offers hope and empowerment. She recognizes the potential in each of her clients, valuing their skills and experiences from their home countries while acknowledging the challenges, particularly language barriers. She works diligently to boost their confidence.

Elham, employment specialist, smiling to the camera.

Elham conducts workshops and encourages newcomers to embrace their unique backgrounds, think creatively, and take uncommon approaches in their job search. She firmly believes that individuals seeking employment “can create their own job.” Though it may not be easy, a proactive approach brings rewarding results.

One standout example of her impact is a client who adopted her out-of-the-box approach. He visited a major retail chain, observed their stores, and contacted the manager with his insights. This initiative resulted in a full-time job, and now he manages 17 of their stores.

“Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer, give back to the community, and the community will give you back, will give you a lot.”

Elham’s dedication extends beyond her counselling work. She actively engages in community initiatives, such as supporting Sudanese individuals fleeing war-torn regions. She shares her expertise and assists them in accessing essential services like resume building, showcasing her commitment to driving social change.

She has personally witnessed how newcomers enrich Canadian society with their skills and knowledge. She strongly believes that everyone has something to offer. Elham advises newcomers to start by volunteering in the community, an excellent way to enhance their resumes. Her own volunteering experience with the Toronto Catholic District School Board played a important role in her job search success. She emphatically states: “Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer, give back to the community, and the community will give you back, will give you a lot.”

Elham exemplifies the idea that a warm and open-hearted welcome not only enriches a country but also results in a more inclusive society, one that opens doors to opportunities for everyone.

Her personal journey, from newcomer to welcomer, stands as a proof to the profound and transformative impact of extending warm welcomes, ultimately shaping and strengthening our communities for generations to come.

This blog post is just one piece of our Welcoming Week series, where we aim to spotlight the incredible people, places, and values that create an inclusive and inviting environment in our communities. Together, let’s celebrate diversity, support newcomers, and continue building bridges that make Canada a truly welcoming home for all. Click here to read more incredible stories in the series.