Meet Nafisa. She volunteers for CIWA’s One-on-One Counselling Program: Grandma’s Kitchen and is February’s Volunteer of the Month.

Nafisa Akhtar is originally from Pakistan, where she earned a Masters in Mass Communication and worked as an IELTS & TOEFL Instructor. She writes creative content for electronic and print media as well as articles on social issues. Nafisa and her husband moved to Toronto in 2009 and relocated to Calgary in March 2021.

Nafisa was looking for opportunities to become more connected through volunteering when her cousin recommended she contact CIWA. She briefly volunteered as class support for some of CIWA’s LINC classes and eventually found her niche with the One-on-One Counselling Program groups: Grandma’s Kitchen and Seniors Social Club. She provides activity support while supporting clients with learning English language skills.

Nafisa is enthusiastic about helping others, and it shows in how she supports clients through volunteerism. She demonstrates her passion to engage with immigrant clients with empathy and diligence. She skillfully engages clients and gives her firsthand knowledge about immigrants’ issues in a new country. She shows cultural competency especially when communicating with senior clients from diverse backgrounds. Plus, her expertise in three languages (Hindi, Urdu, and English) is an asset for CIWA clients!

“I have a feeling of helping. It is an opportunity to help those in need and gives satisfaction.”

Nafisa thrives on being able to help support other immigrant women. She appreciates being in an environment where she can encourage conversation between women and see them share their lives. Through volunteering, Nafisa said she has learned a lot about life in Calgary and its unique culture.

,“I was surprised by how different Calgary is from Toronto, and I was keen to explore the magnificent beauty of its lofty mountains, gushing rivers, and enchanting parks.”

CIWA staff appreciate Nafisa’s passion and dedication while doing any volunteer tasks. CIWA clients enjoy being in group sessions with her and they admire Nafisa’s friendly personality and communication skills.

Nafisa’s hobbies include reading a wide variety of books, listening to music and writing.

Do you want to volunteer at CIWA? Click here.