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Meet Maria Fernanda. She currently volunteers with the Legal Clinic and the Volunteer Program. 

Maria Fernanda Fereira and her 3 children (ages 28, 17, and 16) moved to Calgary in the summer of 2019. Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Mexico. Prior to moving to Canada she worked in the field of law for the Government of Mexico and she has aspirations to re-enter this field here.

Maria Fernanda learned about CIWA upon her arrival to Canada and felt an instant connection with CIWA’s vision of empowering immigrant women. As someone who was deeply grateful for the support and resources she received, she considers it an honour and privilege to give back by volunteering her time and talents towards something incredibly impactful and meaningful.

Maria Fernanda volunteers with a variety of programs at CIWA. She provides administrative support to the Volunteer Program through making phone calls, updating files, as well as completing paperwork with new and potential volunteers. She volunteers with the Legal Clinic by helping with set up, supporting the lawyers and clients through administrative tasks, and providing interpretation support. Additionally, she provides interpretation support to clients during various appointments across the city and has contributed to CIWA’s Cross Cultural Parenting Program as well.

Maria Fernanda thrives in her volunteer roles. Volunteering has offered her opportunities to learn new things about Canada, visit incredible places in Calgary, and partake in other opportunities that she might not otherwise be able to experience. She is in awe of the multi-culturalism that exists in Canada and appreciates how people from different backgrounds live and work in harmony. CIWA has opened doors to provide her with opportunities that she couldn’t have imagined existed. She enjoys meeting new people and appreciates the warm, friendly team environment that CIWA provides to clients and volunteers alike.  

“Volunteering is a two-way learning opportunity because I am able to support clients and learn a great deal at the same time.”

Multiple staff members at CIWA leapt at the opportunity to nominate Maria Fernanda due to her incredible contributions toward the agency. She often goes above and beyond expectations and is a shining example as she trains new volunteers. Maria Fernanda is very friendly, flexible, and adaptable. She interacts with clients, staff, and other volunteers in a professional, warm, and mindful way. She is hardworking, trustworthy, and always willing to help.

As a Volunteer Program and Legal Clinic volunteer, Maria Fernanda demonstrates excellent communication skills. Additionally, she is extremely organized, reliable, and quick to volunteer to help in other areas of the agency. She is great with diverse individuals and is accepting towards different people and opinions.

In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, working on self-improvement, reading, and keeping physically active. Maria Fernanda is also a Master of Reiki and enjoys supporting people in their healing journey. 

Thank you, Maria Fernanda, for supporting CIWA’s clients with honour and dignity, and for always bringing your very best to all that you do.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities click here.

To learn more about CIWA's Legal Clinic click here.

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