Meet Maryam. She currently volunteers with CIWA’s Arts and Crafts Groups.

Maryam was born and raised in Iran. Before retiring, she taught Math and Science to middle school students, spent a few years teaching kindergarten, and was an enthusiastic volunteer for charities and in schools.

Maryam and her husband moved to Canada over 3 years ago to be closer to their sons who live in the United States. Upon moving to Calgary, she wanted to volunteer someplace she could be part of a group. She was urged by a friend to connect with CIWA. After a bit of research and with a CIWA staff’s encouragement, Maryam joined the Arts and Craft Groups.


 “I am proud to be a volunteer. CIWA is a safe and friendly destination. CIWA is very good because of the work they do and how they provide a safe space for immigrant women.”

CIWA’s Arts and Crafts Groups compose of volunteers who produce crafts for fundraising. Maryam has been devoting her Wednesday evenings to the Sewing Group and Thursday afternoons to the 55+ Craft Group.

Maryam is an amazing volunteer because she takes incredible initiative; she arrives early to help set up the room, stays late to clean up afterwards, cooks and/or bakes for the groups, supports other volunteer crafters, and so much more. She has risen to the top as a highly reliable, dependable leader who provides love and friendship to everyone attending the groups. It also goes without saying that Maryam makes lovely craft items for CIWA’s fundraisers.


“I have learned a lot of different skills, especially English. I have made good friends, developed confidence, and feel a sense of satisfaction. CIWA is also a place for relaxation.”

Maryam glows with love and appreciation for CIWA. This shows in everything she does for the groups. Volunteer Program staff say the groups would not be the same without her.

She admitted to feeling lonely and depressed after arriving in Canada since she was no longer working or as busy as she used to be in Iran. She lost confidence because she couldn’t speak English very well. Volunteering gives her the sense that she is contributing and doing something meaningful

“I appreciate the Volunteer Program staff and especially those who have created this great opportunity for women.”

CIWA greatly appreciates Maryam’s beautiful talents and devotion. Aside from volunteering, Maryam enjoys cooking and baking. She also enjoys visiting friends, learning English, knitting, and growing spiritually.

To learn more about volunteering at CIWA, visit