Volunteer of the Month: Shahnaz Naghipur
Shahnaz Naghipur has been volunteering at the Immigrant Centre for almost three years as a translator in the Language Bank. Shahnaz immigrated to Canada from Iran 30 years ago, spending 5 years in Edmonton before moving to Winnipeg “When I first came to Canada 30 years ago, there were no places like this to go to” she says of the Immigrant Centre.
Volunteering is nothing new to Shahnaz. “I used to volunteer at a hospital in Edmonton and that helped me learn English. I always recommend to immigrants that they volunteer” she adds. “It puts you right into society, you meet people, learn English and learn new skills. When I started translating, it was hard; but, I got experience of my own.”
Shahnaz enjoys helping newcomers whenever she can because, being an immigrant herself she can relate to their experiences. “I feel for them. I like being able to help others. Sometimes, I meet people and they say, ‘Oh, your name is Shahnaz? You’re the one who did my translation.’”
When she is not volunteering at the Immigrant Centre, Shahnaz, a mother of two sons of whom she is extremely proud, serves as the President of the Iranian Community. She often volunteers to take elderly members of the community to their doctor appointments. She also has her own business and recently signed up for a course. Still she says, “I have free time. I’m not losing anything. If you can provide some help to others, then why not?”
The Immigrant Centre thanks you Shahnaz, for your time and dedication.