Volunteer of the Month

Dariia Zaitova

Dariia volunteers as a Translator in our Language Services department (Language Bank). Although she recently arrived in Canada from Ukraine, Dariia has been a tremendous help to our Language Bank, where over the course of the past three months, she’s spent countless hours verifying the translation of hundreds of pages of documents for Ukrainian newcomers.

How did you first hear about the Immigrant Centre (IC)?

Firstly, I heard about the Immigrant Centre even before I came to Canada. While I was researching information about Manitoba, a lot of Ukrainians advised visiting this centre for some help with our documents or employment services. I came to this centre while still living in the hotel because I needed to verify my translations and that was the only centre that could help me with this.

What attracted you to this organization in particular?

People. When I was just a client it was really impressive to me that employees were so kind to strangers, that they never knew. They always try to help them, to find some ways to achieve their goals and of course, just to give them the feeling that even if you are an immigrant, you are not alone. The environment here is always so safe and kind, like when you come back to your parents’ house, you feel like you are finally home, and it is just the right place for you. 

Why did you decide to volunteer?

One day when I was waiting to verify translations, I saw a conversation between one of the newcomers from Ukraine and an employee, who was trying to help this Ukrainian, but they barely could understand each other, so I just decided to help them like a translator. Surprisingly, that was a really good experience for me, so I decided that maybe, I could try and become a volunteer.

What has your volunteer experience been like at the IC?

These few months have been the best moments of my life. Even back in Ukraine, I never tried to be a volunteer because I was always scared to work with people: it is hard work for everyone, especially for a young girl. The war and immigration through the ocean made me scared of new things and new people, but when the Immigrant Centre gave me an opportunity to try volunteering, I decided “I will just give it a try” and then these few months have been the best moments of my life. Helping people, who are lost and need help in a new country, unexpectedly became something that I want to do in my life. So, it will be easy to say that the Immigrant Centre helped me to find my path to the future. And of course, the people who work there, became like a family to me. They are people who helped me to overcome my fears and if they weren’t by my side, I would be still sitting at home with no idea about what I should do in my life.