Volunteer of the month: Iva Wilson
Iva Wilson does not remember exactly how long she has been volunteering at the Immigrant Centre, but she thinks that it must be about 13 years. She recalls that she first heard about the Immigrant Centre from a customer when she was working at The Bay. At the time, Iva was taking a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) course at the University of Manitoba, and thought, “ This would be a great place to volunteer” so she called and made an appointment.
Iva started out volunteering as a One-to-One English Tutor, and then moved on to facilitating Conversation Groups. She has now been a Conversation Group Facilitator for eight years. Her first conversation class was with a group of six women from Serbia, spouses of truck drivers who had immigrated to Manitoba, and “it just grew from there.” She still hears from one of the women, who has since moved out of the province.
Asked why she continues to volunteer Iva says, “I do this because I like meeting people. I love learning about other countries and listening to their stories. You learn that there is more than one way to do something.”
Volunteering as a Conversation Group Facilitator has made her appreciate what we have here, and discussing world topics with her students has made her more aware of what is happening in the world. It has also given her the urge to travel. “I hear about all these different countries and cultures and I just want to travel. My atlas is falling apart” she laughs.
The Immigrant Centre thanks you Iva, for your time and dedication.