Lesya Volynch- Volunteer of the Month for May 2024

Lesya Volynch was born and raised in Ukraine. After her university education, she moved to Antayla, Turkey, where she lived for 15 years, working as an assistant in retail stores.

In June 2023, Lesya made the big move from Antayla’s warm weather to Canada. She was initially scared about how she would survive Canada’s cold weather, but it turned out better than she had imagined.

Finding employment, however, proved more difficult.

A few months after Lesya’s arrival, she joined the Ukrainian community in Calgary. While networking within the group, she heard about Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) and decided to explore volunteering with the organization to improve her chances at finding meaningful employment by practicing her English.

Lesya became a volunteer with ISC in January 2024, and has so far completed 159 volunteer hours with ISC’s Client Care team.

“When I got the opportunity to volunteer at ISC, I was thrilled because I could improve my language skills, help people, and receive important information for myself,” she said.

Abdallah Abushammala, manager of Client Care at ISC, has observed Lesya’s empathy in supporting newcomers and their families since she started volunteering three months ago.

“Lesya has extended a helping hand and provided a sense of belonging to those navigating new beginnings in our city,”he said.

Lesya enjoys volunteering and hopes to continue for as long as she has the time for it. She encourages others to consider doing the same—whether for the purpose of learning something new, developing new skills, making new friends, or changing lives.

Apart from helping people, Lesya also enjoys helping animals. While in Turkey, she had as many as seven furry friends which she used to feed and care for.

Only one of these cats is with her in Calgary. She sorely misses the remaining cats and hopes they are being cared for by other animal lovers like her.