Natalia was born and raised in Moldova, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in medicine and pharmacy and worked several years in social services. Natalia and her husband moved to Canada in 2013. She and her family were living in Saskatchewan when they took a mini-vacation to Banff. They enjoyed the area so much that they decided they had to move. Since then, Natalia and her family have called Calgary home.

Natalia had lived in Calgary for a year when a friend referred her to CIWA. She connected with a Settlement Counsellor who gave her meaningful supports. A few years later, she reconnected with CIWA again for employment support and eventually opened her own day home. She always kept CIWA close to her heart and consistently referred people knowing CIWA would point them in the right direction. After closing her day home, she knew it was time for a change and wanted to volunteer and CIWA was her first choice.

Natalia is deeply invested in her role as support with the Pursuit of Happiness Program. She takes great initiative to set up the room, clean up, connect with participants, provides interpretation support, leads activities and more. In addition, she provides interpretation support to clients who attend a wide variety of appointments from medical, social services, CIWA, and more. And finally, Natalia supports CIWA’s special events. Recently, she brought tremendous spirit to CIWA’s Aid Station for the Calgary Marathon where she herself can improve her English and not be as self-conscious about making mistakes as she might be in other situations.

” Volunteering is a great job, you can do what you like. It is a great way to learn, grow, and build self-confidence. I’m out of my comfort zone. I can go and do something different; my borders grow because I am with others and not just family. I can do anything; I am not scared.”

Staff acknowledge Natalia’s efforts and great commitment to our program, which directly benefited the participants and the session. She takes great initiative to prepare activities and icebreakers for seniors, which include crafts, research, reading and more. She is dedicated, punctual, resourceful and emphatic towards seniors.

“Natalia has made a huge difference by helping clients one-on-one, taking initiatives by facilitating activities for seniors, being always proactive and fostering strong bonds among participants.”

CIWA Staff

Natalia’s hobbies include cooking, especially baking for friends, family, and special events. She enjoys hiking, camping and being in the forest or other natural spaces.

Want to learn more about how you can make an impact? Click here to see volunteer opportunities at CIWA.