An uplifting RAISE experience

An uplifting RAISE experience2020-09-09T16:10:26-04:00

RAISE – Refugee and Immigrant Supports to Employment

“I had a very pleasant experience with the RAISE program. RAISE program helped me find a job and assisted me in language as well.” – Ola Kassif, RAISE program client.

Ola Kassif, a RAISE program client, working in supermarket picture #1

Ola Kassif was looking for a job when she saw the advertisement for OCISO’s Refugee and Immigrant Supports to Employment (RAISE) program.

She booked an appointment and after only 2 weeks she had her first interview at OCISO in a speed interview event – and she got her first job – with Mosaic, a North American sales and marketing agency.

This was an incredible surprise; she could not believe it!

I had a very pleasant experience with the RAISE program. RAISE program helped me find a job and assisted me in language as well. It offered me help and several services.

Everyone I worked with within RAISE is extremely welcome and helpful. The employment process was very fast; I got my job at Mosaic after 2 weeks from my intake. Ola Kassif – RAISE Client

Later on, she was matched with Patricia Roth, her Volunteer Language trainer who is originally a mentor in OCISO’s mentorship program. Patricia wanted to “give back to the community” by assisting new immigrants and refugees.

Today, Ola is very happy and appreciative of the RAISE program, and says Patricia helped her a lot in terms of language, studies and work. Mosaic is also appreciative: “OCISO has been a great source for recruiting reliable candidates.”

I have been volunteering as a Language Trainer with the RAISE program offered as a support to refugees and immigrants. I have had the privilege of working with a young Syrian woman, in view of assisting her in language skills for employment as well as daily usage…

It was also an opportunity for both of us to share information and insights into our respective cultures, and to learn from each other. This has personally been a very enriching experience for me, and I am delighted to be a small part of welcoming a newcomer to Canada. Patricia Roth – Volunteer Language Trainer

Ola Kassif, a RAISE program client, working in supermarket picture #2

A note about the RAISE program:

In partnership with employers, colleges and universities, Employment Ontario and community partners, OCISO launched the RAISE program to support refugee clients with limited official language proficiency obtain and retain employment and to help them integrate economically into their new community.

RAISE also matches refugee clients with employers (EmployMENTORs) and volunteer Workplace Language Trainers (WLTs).

OCISO has been a great source for recruiting reliable candidates. First of all, OCISO’s mission is an honorable one; matching newcomers in Canada to jobs within the area. They have placed themselves as a great tool for both employers seeking candidates and candidates seeking employment.

As an employer, I can testify that the candidates I have hired as a result of my relationship with OCISO have been extremely reliable hard workers, and I look forward to continuing my business partnership with this agency. Mosaic Field Coordinator – Employer 

Supports focus on pre/post induction, employment maintenance/retention, and the core competencies required to succeed in the Canadian workplace.

In collaboration with employers, Volunteer Workplace Language Mentors with pedagogical experience set language learning goals within the workplace and support the clients’ environmental challenges that hinder employment retention.

Clients improve their language competency whilst developing their skills and increase their knowledge of the Canadian workplace culture leading to fuller participation in society.

For more information on the RAISE program, please contact:

Mazen Homsi, RAISE program facilitator, [email protected], or
Joyce Akl, RAISE employment counsellor, [email protected]

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Our Mission!

OCISO supports immigrants through the journey of making Canada their home by providing creative and responsive programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, by building community through mutual respect and partnerships, and by fostering healthy and inclusive spaces for open dialogue and healing.

What we do 🙂

We are community based non-profit organization that has been providing services in Ottawa since 1978. We are motivated by the stories of new immigrants, and we are there every stage of the journey. OCISO directly serves over 10,000 immigrants and refugees every year. Our work is augmented by the generous efforts of our enthusiastic, caring and talented staff, volunteers, both established and new Canadians.