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Musical Performance Brightens a Summer Day for Newcomer Families

On a warm Sunday afternoon, OCISO clients were treated to a wonderful outdoor concert by Ottawa Suzuki Strings. It was the first event hosted by the Friends of the Family program since COVID-19. Physical distancing protocols were followed. Musicians wearing masks played beautifully on the lawn of the Tom Brown Arena. Dina Aleryani and [...]

Musical Performance Brightens a Summer Day for Newcomer Families2020-08-28T11:54:22-04:00

YOCISO’s E-Learning Initiative (Homework Club)

YOCISO’s e-learning initiative was launched in March 2020 as a pilot project. E-learning had been identified as a need because of school closures due to COVID-19. “The closure of schools was a trying time for many newcomer youth and their families,”says Daniela Arrieta, Youth Facilitator, YOCISO. “They encountered difficulties with the information provided by [...]

YOCISO’s E-Learning Initiative (Homework Club)2020-07-22T20:12:25-04:00

Volunteer Helps Newcomers to Learn English

Kelly Hayes-Crook has been volunteering with OCISO for the last nine months. As a retired high school teacher who had taught English as a Second Language (ESL) students, volunteering at OCISO’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) school was the perfect fit for her. “This volunteer opportunity came together very nicely, as I [...]

Volunteer Helps Newcomers to Learn English2020-07-22T10:34:58-04:00

OCISO Mentor Receives Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Richard Tobin, an OCISO mentor for 11 years, was surprised when he received a call from the Governor General’s office saying that he would be receiving the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. “I was quite surprised to be nominated by one of my mentees,” remarks Richard. “I am humbled by this award.” “The Sovereign’s Medal [...]

OCISO Mentor Receives Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers2020-07-31T16:55:55-04:00

Mentee Profile:  Adam Berrada

After working in journalism and media relations in Morocco, Adam craved a change so he moved with his young family to Canada in September 2019. They immigrated through the Express Entry program for skilled workers. The first place they lived was close to the OCISO office, so he inquired about services offered for newcomers. [...]

Mentee Profile:  Adam Berrada2020-08-28T11:48:16-04:00

Mentee Profile: Daniel Azike

When Daniel Azike arrived in Ottawa in March 2019 from Nigeria, someone gave him a great bit of advice – to take advantage of settlement services. He browsed the OCISO website and soon found himself participating in employment and mentoring workshops. He was paired with a mentor who was working in a related field [...]

Mentee Profile: Daniel Azike2020-07-08T17:02:16-04:00

OCISO Receives $265,700 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant

MEDIA RELEASE  OCISO Receives $265,700 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant June 19, 2020, Ottawa, ON – We are pleased to announce that OCISO has received $265,700 in funding over three years from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) for our Wrestling with Champions program. This program, currently scheduled to begin in January 2021, will be in line [...]

OCISO Receives $265,700 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant2020-06-24T17:39:58-04:00
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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.