RECRUITING AND WORKING WITH
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
What This Manual Will Do
The Benefits of a Multicultural Organization
The Challenges and the Opportunities
Preparing Your Organization
Recruiting Ethnocultural Volunteers
Interviewing the New Recruit
Support for Minority Volunteers
We would like to thank the following people for contributing their many hours of time and thoughtful advice to this handbook:
|*||Syeda Bharti||Co-ordinator of Intercultural
|*||Abayomi Coker||(Former Executive Director,
National Capital Alliance
on Race Relations)
|*||Herman de Souza||Executive Director||Catholic Immigration Centre|
|*||Dianne Markle||Former Manager,
|*||Rose Orach||Volunteer Co-ordinator||Catholic immigration Centre|
|*||Nizam Siddiqui||Community Liaison Division||City of Ottawa|
|*||Ngoc Tran||Community Development Officer||Ottawa-Carleton Immigrant
|*||Syeda Bhatti||Ottawa-Carleton Immigrant Services Organization|
|*||Marilyn Box||Central Volunteer Bureau of Ottawa-Carleton|
|*||Gilda Good||Central Volunteer Bureau of Ottawa-Carleton|
|*||Bev Grostern||Jewish Social Services|
|*||Caroline Horgan||Elisabeth Bruyere Health Centre|
|*||Jane Homer||Elizabeth Fry Society|
|*||Jeannine Langlois||Dalhousie Community Centre|
|*||Jaime Marulanda||City of Ottawa|
|*||Rose Orach||Catholic Immigration Centre|
|*||Laurie Steven||Odyssey Theatre|
|*||Maureen Kellerman||Catholic Immigration Centre|
|*||Emma Williams||Catholic Immigration Centre|
|*||Joan Cox||Royal Ottawa Hospital|
|*||Bernice Forster||Children s Hospital of Eastern Ontario|
We acknowledge the assistance of the Government of Ontario
Ministry of Citizenship
for primary funding of this project
are also extended to the following for their
Minto Developments Inc.
with assistance from
Voluntary Action Directorate
Multiculturalism and Citizenship Canada
Because this handbook is a first Venture into the field of working with ethnocultural volunteers, we would very much appreciate receiving your comments, your views, and especially your experiences. Please let us know how this book was of help to you, how it could be improved, and any adjustments you have made to your volunteer program that were particularly effective. Address your comments to:
The Central Volunteer Bureau of Ottawa-Carleton
256 King Edward Avenue
Fax: (613) 232-6680
The Central Volunteer Bureau of Ottawa-Carleton refers people interested in volunteering to a wide range of community organizations needing volunteers.
Over the last few years we have been struck by two major changes in our Recruitment and Referral Program:
a. There has been an increase in the number of people from ethnic minorities seeking volunteer positions, primarily to practice new language skills and to gain Canadian work experience.
b. There has been an increase in the number of requests for volunteers from mainstream organizations.
At first glance, there would seem to be a logical compliment of needs. However, experience has revealed that matches between minority volunteers and mainstream organizations have not been successful.
This manual has been written in response to requests from voluntary organizations for information about how to make their programs attractive and accessible to ethnic minority volunteers. Many organizations were already aware of the wealth of skills and experience that minority volunteers possess, but wanted suggestions on how to incorporate new methods into their existing programs.
The content was developed through a series of workshops with managers of volunteers from both mainstream and ethnic organizations. Advice was sought from organizations that were successful in recruiting and maintaining ethnic minority volunteers, as well as those who had experienced difficulties keeping new volunteers.
This manual is for:
The purpose of this manual is:
In this handbook, the term ethnic minority is used to mean people who are relatively new to Canada and whose first language and cultural background is neither English nor French. Mainstream indicates a non-ethnic organization.
This manual looks at ways to help your organization, its staff and its volunteers become more sensitive and responsive to ethnic minority volunteers. We won't be telling you how you can make these new volunteers act more like your old volunteers. We will, however, suggest how your organization can adapt to the cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity of the community you serve and become part of the multicultural reality that is Canada today.
Plenty of traditional volunteer program management suggestions are included as well. Many of the tips on recruitment, interviewing, training and support that have been developed over the years will be applicable in your new campaign.
We tried to write a handbook that will encourage you to make some changes in your organization and in your volunteer management practices. We are suggesting that your organization will be enriched, if you are prepared to make some changes. Those organizations that can listen and learn from their ethnic minority volunteers, and can be flexible enough to adapt their procedures and attitudes, will find themselves greatly strengthened.
Although there may be some costs in adjusting and adapting systems and practices, the organization will benefit in the long run.
Civilization is to be judged
by its treatment of minorities.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
Canada is a multicultural society and is becoming even more culturally diverse. This fact has been recognized by the Canadian Multiculturalism Act which was in the process of becoming law in 1990. This Act recognizes the racial and cultural diversity of Canadians, and it states that all Canadians must have equal opportunities and must be treated with the same respect.
A reform of our immigration policy has resulted in a larger proportion of new immigrants and refugees coming from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean/West Indies, and South and Central America. Even if immigration is maintained at present levels, by the year 2000 it is projected that over 50 percent of Canadians will be members of ethnic minorities, and 10 percent will be visible minorities.
Today, one-third of the population has cultural origins other than British or French and one in every six Canadians was born outside this country. Of course, many ethnic and visible minorities are not new immigrants but have been in Canada for many generations.
At the same time, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of voluntary organizations set up to serve the increasing needs of our society. Fiscal constraints have meant an increasing reliance on volunteers to help carry out programs and services.
Why is it then, with the increase in both the ethnic diversity and the need for volunteers, there has not been a corresponding increase in the number of people from ethnic minorities entering the ranks as volunteers in the mainstream voluntary sector?
The primary reason seems to be that the majority of mainstream voluntary organizations have not altered or adapted their procedures and practices to reflect changes in the community. They have failed to provide access for the multicultural community into their organizations.
Nothing could be more discouraging to volunteers than to go through the process of being interviewed and trained for an assignment, only to discover that they are not really welcome or appreciated. To evaluate how accessible your organization is to people from ethnic minorities, ask the following questions:
The practice of helping others is not alien to ethnic minorities. A healthy system of community participation exists in most cultures. This communal responsibility can be a complex, obligatory system of providing assistance to one another. It is this level of participation which helps to define one's role in society and often has a greater impact on establishing a person's standing in the community than paid work. The system appears to be informal, is seldom institutionalized, and never extends to profit-making activities.
It is easy to see why the highly structured and professionalized form of volunteerism that has evolved in Canada would be baffling and somewhat suspect to people with a very different cultural experience.
Before beginning your recruitment campaign, consider these questions:
What do you offer?
Who do you want to recruit?
Where do you find ethnocultural volunteers?
How do you communicate with potential volunteers?
When do you start?
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|Last updated : 1998/10/26|