Continuing our series of posts on “Know the Team”, today we will talk to Scheila Masinda, one of Umoja’s children’s afterschool program coordinators.
We asked Scheila how she started at Umoja she told us she has always been drawn to helping others. She has been volunteering for a youth and leadership program with the YMCA when she heard about a position opening up at Umoja. Scheila was thrilled with the opportunity and started off with being a Summer Camp Staff Coordinator in 2016. After that, she said she was hooked on the job.
You said you are keen on helping others. Why do you like that?
“They have always been involved in community work and I think it just runs in the family.”
We heard that immigration has been always a cause dear to your heart, why is that?
I’m a child of immigrants that are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, from a young age I knew how it felt for my parents to try and integrate into Canadian society as easily as possible. My parents have always made me appreciate the beauty of immigration.
What makes you enjoy the work you do at Umoja?
Working at Umoja and with The Children’s Program has humbled me and has put a lot of perspective into my life. I do it because I actually see the growth in them every day and it’s not for nothing. I learn more and more each and every day and I’m thankful.
Scheila, we are the ones thankful for your hard work! Thank you for helping children better adapt to a new reality in Canada and therefore helping their families. Nice to meet you.
If you like this series and wants to hear more about the Umoja team, please leave your comments below.
Now that you know what Umoja Operation Compassion Society is, you might want to know how you can support our cause.
First, you may want to know more about our programs and what exactly we offer to our clients. Did you know that we have both local and international programs?
For the local programs, we offer children-focused programs like United Way school’s out Umoja program. Children ages 6-12 engage in activities, games, discussion, books, and interaction with positive mentors to celebrate their diverse cultural background while introducing Canadian society. We also offer adult literacy and life skills, which equips new immigrants and refugees with the necessary language skills needed to successfully integrate into the Canadian system. And more, so don’t forget to pay a visit to our programs page!
For our international programs, we support the Rwentutu community located in Kasese District of Western Uganda. Offering fresh water, educational and health care support, Umoja aims to improve the quality of life in global communities. Another way of helping is to sponsor a child from the village. By sponsoring a child you ensure the child has a meal every day as well as support from the Rwentutu Community School community. Learn more about our international programs here.
Secondly, you can help with any monetary contribution. It’s so easy to donate whatever amount you want through our donations page. You can choose where you want to designate the funds you are providing. And all you have to do is to complete a simple online form. Many individuals will be thankful for your generous contribution!
Moreover, you can engage with any type of volunteering position with Umoja. Volunteering time and energy to any of the following tasks can support us: administrative, child minding, advocacy, and fundraising.
Finally, you can always spread out the word! Let your family and friends know about Umoja and what we do. You don’t need to formally engage with our organization, but if you can become our advocate and just help us reach more people, it will go a long way. Like our posts on social and share them with your connections, let them know about our work.
Wow, see how many ways you can get involved and help us out?
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
Numerous refugees are forced to leave their homes to seek a better life elsewhere.
You have probably already heard about refugees and how the refugee crisis has affected some countries around the world. But, have you ever wondered what it means to be a refugee? To raise awareness of the World Refugee Day coming up this week (June 20th), we are going to explain this term and other ones that are under this umbrella.
In recent years, we have caught up with the news about the fleeing of hundreds of people who have left their countries such as Syria and Afghanistan, to seek shelter and security in other countries, especially in Europe. Entire families leave their homes behind in search of a new life, but it does not mean they will conquer it in a new country. Unfortunately, on this journey, there are many challenges to overcome.
Family in a refugee camp
According to The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), “A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries”.
A term that goes hand in hand with refugees is an internally displaced person (IDP). Unlike a refugee, where an international border is crossed, an internally displaced person is someone who has also fled his home; however, he remains in his country. These people generally go to nearby cities and neighbourhoods to seek protection in internal camps, settlements, and schools. Unfortunately, internally displaced persons are not qualified to receive many types of support and are not under the protection of international law. Instead, they are protected by their government.
Another term commonly confused with refugees is asylum seekers. These people go to other countries to apply for asylum. To do so, they need to prove that they needed to flee their home country to avoid being persecuted. If proved, asylum seekers can be legally protected and receive the recognition of refugees.
Annually, Surrey has welcomed many refugees from around the world. Umoja, along with its partners and the community have supported this cause in many ways.
To know more about minority immigrants, refugees, and how we have supported these causes, access our programs page and discover how to get involved!
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.