Helena Nohra is Immigrant Services Calgary’s Volunteer of the Month
Helena started volunteering at Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) in the summer of 2018 and by the end of the year, she had already completed 250 volunteer hours. She is dedicated and punctual, and her professionalism and attention to detail make her a valuable contributor to ISC’s office.
“Helena has been a valuable help at ISC’s main reception desk for quite some time now. She is a very committed and dedicated volunteer. She is always willing to perform new tasks with great quality and accuracy. Helena has a positive and friendly attitude that makes it lovely to work with her.“ – Gezim Fetahu, Receptionist
Helena shines at ISC’s main reception desk while also excelling at various administrative tasks for the Settlement and Language Bank Centre and ILVARC. Helena is thorough yet timely in all her work and everyone enjoys working with her.
“Helena is one of the best Office Support volunteers that I have ever worked with! She is organized, punctual and professional. She has always gone above and beyond when requested to complete a task. I know, whatever the office job, I can count on Helena.” – Gela Dezfoulian, Volunteer Facilitator
“Helena has been supporting the Citizenship Learning Program in preparing various class materials. She is reliable, detail oriented and completes tasks with great care. It is a pleasure to work with Helena! We are fortunate to have her help.” – Lea Sophie Kakudji, Settlement Support
This is Helena’s story.
“I was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, a land of warm weather, music, traditions and happiness. My two wonderful parents raised me with love and taught me that giving love and helping others helps one grow and become happier. They often told me ‘You should always give the best of yourself in everything you do’.
Due to various economic and political problems in Venezuela, my husband and I decided to immigrate to Canada, so in 2007 we moved here along with our nine months old daughter, Victoria. I have been blessed with a wonderful family and they mean everything to me. They never doubt me when it is time to support me and help me to keep going. They have been my example of endurance and resilience.
It was not easy to restart our life, leaving behind who we thought we were as well as our family and friends. In time, I realized that I never completely left them, because I have them with me in all my living memories of them, and the learnings I have acquired. My father immigrated to Venezuela from Lebanon when he was 25 years old; his example showed me that we could love dearly our new home as much as we love our country of origin. Immigrating has been filled with challenges and struggles, as well as many happy and sad moments. It is a journey with its ups and downs, but I firmly believe that you learn from both the good and the bad experiences, all of them are important.
Back in Venezuela, I graduated in Law. I love photography, where I can capture the beautiful things of life in photos - they will always be there to admire. Also, I love singing and I am part of Cantares Latin-American Choir whose mission is to promote Venezuelan and Latin-American music in Spanish.
Canada (and especially Calgary) has been a blessing for me and my family. This is a land with plenty of opportunities that receives you with open arms, where you can find opportunities to express yourself and continue growing. It has been a total life change for me, but I feel it has been a positive change. For all this time, I always had in my mind my mom’s words of wisdom, ‘Nothing in life is easy - if you fall, you get back on your feet and keep going, always giving the best of you’.
I have been a volunteer with Immigrant Services Calgary since June 2018. I really enjoy working here. ISC is a place full of smiles, with great spirit to help and be a positive change in the life of other people. I have found here the opportunity to help others while getting to know different cultures. They always have treated me with respect and care, they have helped me to learn new skills and outgrow my limitations. They have been supporting and encouraging me to continue my personal and professional growth. At ISC, I have found good friends with big hearts and professionalism. They are a very important part of my life nowadays, and I will always be grateful for everything they have done to help me. Gracias, ISC! “
We are grateful for the wonderful work you have been doing, Helena, and are excited to continue working with you in 2019. Congratulations!