Meet George. He is a volunteer in employment skills programs and is August’s Volunteer of the Month.

Originally from India, George Rodrigues earned his Master’s in Geology and was employed at an international oil & gas company. He constantly traveled; he has lived and worked in 54 countries. Soon after marrying, he decided to switch careers to lessen his travels. When he became a Human Resources Manager, however, he and his wife still moved to various countries until they finally chose to settle and call Canada home.

George learned about CIWA through his wife, Glenda. She knew that George’s cross-cultural and international experiences combined with his HR expertise would benefit CIWA’s clients.

George began volunteering in the summer of 2019 through the Fast Track Employment Training Program, where he provides crucial human resources insight to staff. He supports clients’ employment path by conducting mock interviews, critiquing resumes, teaching cultural awareness, and more.

George’s experiences living and working in multiple countries significantly deepened his knowledge and awareness of cross-cultural values and needs. Along with his expertise as a Human Resource Manager, George carries a powerful tool for understanding and supporting CIWA clients who are seeking employment in a new country. He is able to recognize the ways that CIWA clients strive to identify with Canadian culture and offers unique perspective when supporting with their settlement.

George shares, “I feel blessed.” and that he wants to find meaningful ways to give back to society. Through his volunteer work at CIWA, he is able to help meet the challenges and needs of new Canadians living in Calgary. He views his volunteer role as “more than just resumes” but also an opportunity to help bring comfort to clients when questions around identity arise as a result of integrating in a new country.

Volunteering with CIWA has reinforced his understanding of cultural values and backgrounds. His volunteer role has given him first hand working knowledge of CIWA and how the services offered help with a smooth transition in Canada. CIWA is ‘a silver lining’ for all immigrants. He says the freedoms and openness that Canada offers can be daunting and he is pleased to be able to provide comfort and support to clients as they settle into a new country and culture.

George is truly an outstanding volunteer with CIWA. He is highly reliable, has impeccable work ethic, and can always be counted on to bring his absolute best. His level of expertise helps elevate CIWA’s Fast Track Program. He recognizes clients’ individuality in order to help them improve on both a personal and professional basis. He is patient and personable in how he treats clients and staff alike. Staff consider George a super volunteer because his long career experience in HR proves to be an extremely valuable asset to CIWA’s volunteer resources. His interaction with clients, staff, and fellow volunteers is always displayed in a professional, personable and friendly manner. His deep commitment to CIWA is commendable.

In his spare time, George enjoys watching cricket, English football and playing chess with his teenage daughter and son. He also enjoys jogging/walking and has recently grown to enjoy learning how to cook a variety of inter-cultural foods.

Congratulations George on being volunteer of the month for August 2020!

To learn more about volunteer opportunities click here.