Olena Synyuta – Volunteer of the Month for January 2024

With more than 25 years of professional experience as a journalist, Olena Synyuta has deeply felt the transformative power of volunteering and interpersonal connections in the lives of those navigating challenges.

Her journey to Canada through the CUAET program is a path shared by many Ukrainians. The experience instilled in her a profound understanding of the unpredictability of forced relocation due to war—while unveiling the vital importance of supporting those in need.

 "Giving back is the most genuine expression of gratitude—a connection with my true inner spiritual core, where I operate from my authentic potential," said Olena.

Olena's decision to volunteer with Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) stemmed from her interaction with a Gateway planner, who served as one of her settlement guides in Canada. After completing a language test, Olena committed herself to supporting newcomers in Canada by volunteering. Since September 2023, she has dedicated over 150 hours to the Client Care team at ISC.

Olena's flexibility and teamwork skills facilitated her integration as a volunteer into ISC's Client Care team, where she communicates effectively with diverse multicultural audiences.

"Volunteering opens the door to connecting with individuals who share similar values and fosters personal leadership growth," said Olena.

As a native Ukrainian speaker, she serves as a valuable assistant for newcomers arriving through the CUAET program, helping them understand settlement services in Canada. She finds inspiration in this activity, and ISC’s client care coordinator, Natalia Virlan, says Olena’s passion for helping has made a real difference in the lives of many ISC and Gateway clients.

“We are grateful and appreciative that Olena chose to donate her time and talent to the Client Care team,” said Natalia.

"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, but they have the heart, and Olena is a real example of that.”

A special thanks to Olena Synyuta for contributing to the writing of this story.