Building Bridges is a program offered by PIRS that aims to provide immigrant women with the skills for their future career plans. Amandeep’s journey shows how one connection has allowed her to branch out and encounter one opportunity after the other. Through personal relationships and professional merit, she shares how she was able to reach out and grow as a person and as a facilitator:
“I contacted PIRS volunteer coordinator, Jugnoo Salahuddin after reading about an opening on a search engine. She asked me a couple of questions and then heard my reasons for coming to Canada. I must admit that it was just after my arrival to Canada, and I never had a chance to tell my story to anyone in Canada except her, to which she showed excellent patience and interest.
“Sympathy is not what all vulnerable women seek; it’s the words that strengthen you and make you feel secure as they guide you to the right and inspire you to be positive even in the worst scenario”.
I was accepted into the program and encouraged to start as an ECE Assistant Volunteer, where I met wonderful ladies like Arlene and Florina and others too.
Next, I worked as a conference volunteer for Building Bridges expanding my circle and scope of work and met many energetic faces. This opportunity gave me my next break to become a digital literacy facilitator. Jugnoo connected me with Rae Switzer and Rajeeta Samala, who trained me for conducting workshops at the community level. This work really made me feel satisfied, as the course I am pursuing is related to using technology for new learners. I am happy that I am improving day by day and making new connections every single day I spend here in Canada.
Later, I was lucky to be a part of the Minerva BC event, which was held recently on the 8th of October with the kind efforts of Tarana Sultan (PIRS Women’s Development Coordinator) and Andrea Solnes.
It was the most essential thing that I required in Canada – networking!
This brought me in contact with excellent women that have achieved their goals after struggling, and the types of hurdles I am going to face looking for a job specifically in the field of my specialization. I met Eileen Loang, Tina, Katy Baker, and Louise all shared their stories and heard mine in the event. The event was exciting as well as yummy as it served well-prepared, delicious food. So, we got the opportunity to eat and enjoy as well as do some serious networking all under a single roof. The event served its purpose in many ways as it built confidence in women that feel hesitant to interact, share or walk with other successful personalities as they never really get a chance to do so. It was all about knowing each other and sharing positive vibes. Truly, it was a platform where women were helping other women to grow.
My journey so far has been exciting and enjoyable with some struggles. I know there is a lot more to be done, but I won’t hesitate to do so if I have the right support from organizations like PIRS. I feel secure and happy and know there is someone watching my back in this new country.
Amandeep stresses the importance of Networking to her continued development and success, one of the key learning outcomes of the Building Bridges program. Being introduced to other women in your field has given her a sense of support. Like Amandeep, this network of positivity and security can let you aim higher in your goals and reach new heights. In continuing our mission to empower immigrant and refugee immigrant women, we offer such programs to make this vision into reality.