Alma Francisco moved to Calgary from the Philippines in 2019 with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree and experience working as an election assistant for the local government. She likes taking on challenges and learning about the lives of others, especially being in a multi-cultural environment.

Alma learned about CIWA through a friend, who recommended her to access settlement and employment support. Because of her genuine warmth and care for others, CIWA staff encouraged her to become a volunteer.

She began volunteering with the Filipino Community Development Program (FCDP) making phone calls to clients, entering data, assisting with workshops, among other tasks. In addition, Alma also volunteered at special events at CIWA. Most recently, she devoted an entire weekend volunteering for the Volunteer Program in a concession tent at a local fundraiser. She initially signed up for one shift, which very quickly became two shifts. She ultimately ended up volunteer the entire three-day weekend! Alma was an incredible support in numerous ways. It wouldn’t have been the same without being the CIWA staff’s ‘right hand’.

Alma takes initiative to train other volunteers. She calmly and thoroughly explains different processes ensuring other volunteers understood what to do and felt confidence in carrying out their duties. She has impressed CIWA staff with her intuitive working style, her strong initiative, her mentoring and teaching skills. With Alma, we knew the volunteers were in in good hands.

“At the beginning of the day we were strangers but then we left as friends.”

Alma has been bringing genuine joy and passion each and every volunteering day. She enjoys volunteering with CIWA because she feels that making a difference and helping others brings values to her life. Alma loves the sense of comradery built each day and she was definitely a pivotal point in creating that friendship bond.

When she is not busy with work, she enjoys dancing, singing, playing badminton and spending as much time as she can with her two-year-old daughter.