Breaking Ground, our career development program, is back!

We have an exciting announcement: Breaking Ground is back on January 21st!

Breaking Ground is our 8-week career development program for Permanent Residents and newcomers between the ages of 17 and 30. This program will help you plan for your future and take key steps to reach your education and employment goals.

As newcomers in Canada, it can be difficult to break into the job market when you don’t have a specific trade, credentials, or Canadian work experience. Through this program you will discover more about yourself, your strengths and learning styles. You will practice important skills like communication, teamwork, and problem solving, and develop strategies for success in Canada. Expert guest speakers will offer insights on landing a job, financial planning, and more.

The details

The next Breaking Ground session runs from January 21 to March 24, 2020. Meetings are held each Tuesday from 4-6pm, and three Saturday sessions will be held from 10-4pm (with lunch provided). All meetings are at the Global Gathering Place Main Office at 100 5th Avenue North. Here is the full list of meeting dates:

Tuesdays 4-6pm:

January 21, 28

February 4, 11, 25

March 3, 17, 24

Saturdays 10am-4pm:

Feb 1, 22

March 14

Clients are also encouraged to book 1-on-1 appointments with the Global Gathering Place facilitator, Michelle, who can assist with individual needs (e.g. résumés, job search and applications, and emotional support).

Applicants should be committed to their personal and professional development, and able to stick the program for all 8 weeks.

There is a limited number of openings for Breaking Ground, so apply now by contacting Michelle at 306-665-0268, or email michelle.elliott@globalgatheringplace.com. You can also fill out the application in person at GGP.

What participants say about Breaking Ground

“Breaking Ground was a wonderful experience for me. The atmosphere you create, teaching people to know their strengths and weaknesses, taking people to the library, bringing people and experts to share their experiences and knowledge, and drawing out the important steps in one's life, all of them are really great.” – Yousef

“It was useful for me how to reach the goal and improve my knowledge. This program encouraged me to reach a long-term goal.”  – Suk Maya

“After this course I know how to search for a job more systematically and organized. I know more about job interview, taxes, and banking.”  – Amanuel

A Breaking Ground success story

Lily moved to Canada with her parents last summer. Initially shy and reluctant to join programs at GGP, last winter she joined Breaking Ground to try something new. Here she was able to receive support in planning for her future in Canada, including mapping out her goal of returning to university to study Medicine, and what to do in the meantime to build her resume.

Lily had a few job interviews after the program, and said that it was very helpful to learn about common interview questions in Breaking Ground. She was also able to learn more about her rights as a worker, and was able to recognize that it was illegal when an employer who offered her a position told her she would not be paid for job training. Through Breaking Ground and other programs at GGP, Lily built up the knowledge and confidence to assert herself and her rights.

She made many new friends and connections and is more relaxed and happy in her new home. In particular, she learned more about the community, resources for finding a job, and about what other supports and programs exist for newcomers, which she would not have known about otherwise. After the program Lily began to study for the IELTS test with hopes of entering the University of Saskatchewan to obtain an undergraduate degree.

Know someone who would benefit from Breaking Ground? Please share this information with them. 

Maureen

Maureen came to Canada in 2016, from Rwanda. In Maureen’s words, “Canada is a nice country, and they are so protective… it is not an easy thing to get their visa. I am glad that they allow me. It was a long process and lots of waiting!”

When she arrived, there was snow on the ground, and it seemed very cold, yet everyone said she had missed the worst winter weather! Still, Maureen got a kick out of wearing long, tall, winter boots, something you never saw in Rwanda. And when summer rolled around, seeing the light still in the sky at 10 PM was a big surprise, unlike anything she’d ever seen. The surprises continued this fall, when the leaves began to change colour. Maureen now says that she likes the cycles of the seasons, and the beauty of seeing nature come back to life in the spring.

The seasons and weather are not the only difference between Canada and Rwanda. Maureen says that back home, fresh tropical fruit is the easiest, cheapest thing you can buy, while processed foods are more of a luxury. Here it’s the opposite—if you can find fresh tropical fruit at all. She has also noticed that in Canada, people pay much more attention to the time when making plans and going about their day. In Rwanda, time is secondary: “What’s more important is the event itself.” Reflecting on this, Maureen says that the Canadian lifestyle has made her realize how much can be accomplished in a day, but at the same time, in her culture “they finish the project very happy and peaceful.”

Maureen has been learning new things every day in Canada. She regularly attends Coffee and Conversation at Global Gathering Place, which has been “a great opportunity to hear their stories (and) learn a little of the culture, which helps me to increase my understanding/ knowledge of how to respect and appreciate other peoples’ belief and values.” She also took our Computers Level 2 course, and obtained her CELPIP certificate.

Today Maureen is taking steps toward her dreams for the future. She hopes to attend university soon to study commerce, through which she believes she can make a positive impact in people’s lives. She already owned a successful small business—when she was in high school! —providing basic goods to students. Maureen says, “I love helping people. It makes me feel like a better person when I can make someone smile or feel special… when I was younger, I did see many people mistreated.” She wants to give back as much as possible, and is influenced by her grandfather, who always said that, “People may forget what you achieved, but will remember how you made them feel.”

Uttama

Uttama came to Canada in March of 2013 by invitation of the Saskatoon Burmese Buddhist community. As a Buddhist monk and a Sangha member—one charged with sharing the teachings of the Buddha—Uttama was sought for his skills, practical experience, and knowledge. He is now a teacher, teaching children and others in order to enhance Saskatoon’s Dharma Buddhist community.

Uttama does not know what his future will hold as it is very much up to the will of his community. Right now, he is in Canada on a work permit and is taking the opportunity to learn as much as he can while sharing his own knowledge. He calls it an “exchange of information”, and says that it is his greatest hope for his future in Canada. At the moment, with the restrictions on his work visa, he is unable to attend university in Canada, but would very much love to continue the exchange by enrolling in religious studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Uttama has become a regular attendee of Global Gathering Place’s Coffee and Conversation program on Thursday afternoons. He speaks glowingly about the program, commenting on the various dimensions of assistance participants receive including relief from loneliness, local advice, employment connections, and help with language. For himself, Uttama appreciates that he is improving his English and has a chance to be able speak with people from so many different cultures and countries. Meeting such a diversity of people is a new experience for him and he says that he has observed how people from different cultures have different ways of thinking and with time, by living here, their minds change to think more like Canadians.

Uttama likes how Canadians think. He said that Canadians are very polite, resilient, full of love to share, and eager to learn new things. Uttama likes to walk along the riverbank where he sees and meets many people. In his orange robes, he is easily identifiable as a foreigner. He loves how people are comfortable approaching him and striking up conversations. He likes how Canadians are friendly, peaceful, polite, and interested in learning about his culture.

He likes most things about Canada, but has also observed that there are many people who seem to be lonely. He can’t remember seeing so many people who struggle with loneliness and thinks that perhaps the difference is that Buddhist teachings provide solutions to this problem in his home country. Uttama explained that Buddhism trains people to be able to control their own minds so that they can search for peace and happiness inside of themselves instead of turning to others to provide it. He says that the goal is to achieve the four foundations of mindfulness—mindfulness of the body, of feelings, of the mind, and of mental objects—in order to be able to overcome sorrow and suffering. If we could achieve this in ourselves, we would achieve a more peaceful world.   

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