Chijindu Ubani identifies himself as a Nigerian, a Canadian, an Albertan, a Calgarian, and a volunteer. His volunteering experience with Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) began in December 2019. He has mainly been involved in the Healthy Start program, where he makes deliveries of vital basic items such as pampers and formula to families with young kids. We are inspired by Chijindu's passion for giving back to the community and truly appreciate all his support for newcomers to Canada! This is his story:
“I immigrated to Canada in 2012 for my undergraduate degree in natural sciences at the University of Calgary, and I’ve been in Calgary ever since. As an immigrant to Canada, I was immensely helped by volunteers at organizations such as ISC and the Calgary Public Library to easily adapt to Canadian society. I was given the tools, guidance, and support needed to learn about life in Canada. Consequently, I promised myself that whenever I settled within the society, I would also lend my skills to others in the community as others previously did for me. It has been quite a rewarding experience.
I mainly partake in the Healthy Start program, where I make deliveries, such as pampers and formula to families with young kids. The joy on the faces of the parents and kids when the deliveries are made is simply astonishing. I get to play the role of Santa all year round! What an amazing opportunity.
My passion for community, people, and volunteering led me to ISC. I find that ISC as an organization really emphasizes the importance of directly being involved with people and the community. Additionally, ISC’s focal point on the welcoming, acceptance, and well-being of newcomers was an aspect of the organization that was also appealing to me.
My favourite thing about volunteering is connecting to the community and helping people. The process of volunteering is humbling and grounding and gives me a sense of a greater purpose in life. Volunteering connects me to something greater than myself, and the experience is quite humbling and rewarding. Volunteering also allows me to meet so many new people from all facets of life, each with their unique story and experience.
Volunteering is now a part of my identity. I am a Nigerian, a Canadian, an Albertan, a Calgarian, and a volunteer. As such, my role in the community is not just to live in it but to be a part of it, and what better way to belong to a community than volunteering? Volunteering is giving back to the society and community that has given so much to me.”
“Chijindu supported our Healthy Start Calgary program during the pandemic lockdown, a very difficult time for everybody. He was always willing to help when we needed him the most. For the past 2 years, he has been consistent and a giver — giver of his time and kindness. He even provided donations for our Healthy Start families. He goes out of his way to complete long tasks with the best attitude. Since I met Chijindu, I have admired him for being a young person with a kind heart.”
Maria EljaikCommunity Access Worker