Community Connections

The Community Connections Program engages citizens, immigrants and refugees to create meaningful community connections in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Program assists immigrants adapt to life in Canada by matching them with local volunteers who provide assistance with learning English, establishing social connections, and integrating into their new community.

Volunteers support many ANC programs, including:

There are many ways that an individual can become involved with the Association for New Canadians as a volunteer. Please browse through the volunteer information to learn more about the various volunteer opportunities and how to become a volunteer.

Already volunteering with the ANC? Please feel free to check out a list of volunteer resources.

For more information, please contact:

Volunteer Opportunities

The Association offers its volunteers a variety of opportunities to support the settlement, integration, and inclusion of immigrants into their new community.

Newcomer Match Program

The Newcomer Match Program pairs volunteers with immigrants to Canada to help them adjust to life in Newfoundland and Labrador. Each immigrant will have unique goals they would like to accomplish with a volunteer. Based on these goals, volunteers may assist with:

  • Practicing conversational English
  • Practicing reading and writing
  • Visiting organizations or groups that are of interest to the participant
  • Visiting local attractions together

Time Commitment

Minimum 2 hours per week for 6 months

Academic Tutor Program

The Academic Tutor Program pairs volunteers with English as a Second Language (ESL) students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 to help them with their school work. Tutoring activities may include:

  • Assisting with learning English
  • Providing homework support
  • Helping with exam preparation

Time Commitment

N/A – sign-up when available

ESL Volunteer Tutor Program

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Volunteer Tutor Program matches volunteers with an immigrant adult, child, or youth to assist with basic ESL instruction. Younger students may also require assistance with homework and/or school assignments.

Time Commitment

Minimum 2 hours per week for 6 months

After-School Homework Club

Through a partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, the ANC delivers its After-School Homework Club in a number of elementary and junior high schools in the St. John’s Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). These clubs provide a structured environment for immigrant students who are studying English as a Second Language or who require assistance completing homework. The program includes English language lessons, creative writing exercises, group projects, guest speakers/presentations, and extracurricular activities. Volunteers assist by:

  • Helping participants with homework, assignments, and projects
  • Participating in group activities
  • Assisting with event set-up and clean-up

Time Commitment

Minimum 1.5 hours per week for 6 months

ESL Conversation Circle Program

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Conversation Circle Program is delivered at the ANC’s ESL Training Centre on Mondays from 1-2 PM. The program provides adult ESL learners with the opportunity to converse with native English speakers on a variety of topics in a friendly, relaxed environment. Volunteers contribute by:

  • Facilitating a conversation with 1-3 students
  • Asking questions and sharing information
  • Assisting students with vocabulary and pronunciation

Time Commitment

N/A – sign-up when available

Women’s/Men’s/Youth/Young Adult/Seniors’/Stay-at-Home Mothers’ Groups

These groups meet monthly and are open to all eligible immigrants who wish to participate. These groups provide participants with the opportunity to improve their English language skills while participating in a variety of educational, recreational, and social activities with their peers. Volunteers assist by:

  • Participating in group activities
  • Engaging participants in conversation
  • Helping with event set-up and clean-up
  • Assisting with child-minding

Time Commitment

N/A – sign-up when available (typically 2-3 hours per month)

Special Events/Activities

Throughout the year, the ANC requires volunteer assistance for special events and activities. Events and activities include:

  • Multicultural Family Sports Day
  • Holiday Events
  • Annual Health Fair
  • Volunteer Recruitment Events
  • Various Special Occasions/Days of Recognition (e.g., Canada Day, World Refugee Day, etc.)

Time Commitment

N/A – sign-up when available (typically 2-3 hours per event)

Become a Volunteer

Take the first step to volunteering with the ANC: Fill out our online volunteer application form!

The Community Connections Coordinator finds the best fit for volunteers based on:

  • Interests
  • Skills
  • Age
  • Gender (when necessary)
  • Location
  • Volunteer needs (e.g., time constraints)

In addition, the ANC has developed a rigorous volunteer screening process to ensure that individuals are linked with the most suitable opportunities. This is in the best interests of the client and volunteer. The screening process has been developed from the guidelines set out by the National Education Campaign on Screening Volunteers and Employees in Positions of Trust with Children and other Vulnerable Clients.

The screening process includes the following:

Step 2: Participate in an informal interview

Once the application has been reviewed, the Community Connections Coordinator will contact the applicant for an informal interview (to discuss an applicant’s interests and the volunteer needs of the ANC).

Step 3: Provide references

After the interview, the ANC will request:

  • Three character references (the Community Connections Coordinator will provide a web-link to a survey or hard-copy form for references to fill out).
  • Clean Certificate of Conduct and Vulnerable Sector checks from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) (or the RCMP if not located in St. John’s, Corner Brook, or Labrador West). If you do not have valid checks within the last six months, the ANC can request that applicable fees be waived. The Community Connections Coordinator will provide the RNC with forms to fill out.

Step 4: Participate in a Volunteer Orientation Session

Once an applicant has completed the screening process, they must attend a Volunteer Orientation Session. Depending on timing, this step may be completed before Step 3. The Community Connections Coordinator will provide an overview of ANC services and volunteer opportunities either one-on-one or in a group setting, depending on volunteer needs.

Step 5: Volunteer!

Once all steps have been successfully completed, an applicant can begin volunteering after being contacted by the Community Connections Coordinator. The Coordinator will then set up a meeting between the volunteer and immigrant to make the initial introductions.

Volunteer Resources

Community Connections Coordinator

The ANC’s Community Connections Coordinator is responsible for recruiting, screening, training, placing, and supporting volunteers. Any suggestions, questions, or concerns should be directed to the Coordinator at [email protected] or (709) 722-9680.

Volunteer Orientation

The ANC is committed to training volunteers for their potential placements through sessions which introduce them to the organization, discuss volunteer opportunities in greater detail, as well as highlight the goals, requirements, and supports available to new volunteers. Volunteers also learn about many topics relevant to assisting immigrants, including:

  • ANC programs and services;
  • Reasons immigrants come to Canada;
  • Information on immigrants’ countries of origin;
  • Adjustment challenges and needs of immigrants;
  • Culture shock;
  • Cultural sensitivity; and,
  • Defining boundaries.

Volunteer Information and Refresher Sessions

In order to ensure volunteers remain engaged and are provided with up-to-date information, the ANC has developed a series of workshops to support the professional development of new and existing volunteers. Some past sessions have included English as a Second Language (ESL) Tips & Tricks, Diversity Training, and Working with Vulnerable Populations.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Resources

The Association has a variety of ESL resources available for volunteer tutors. These resources can be borrowed or photocopied. Please forward requests for resources to the Community Connections Coordinator at [email protected] or (709) 722-9680.

In addition, these online resources are also available free of charge:

Additional volunteer resources: