OCISO is willing to provide references for volunteers who have completed a minimum of 60 hours of volunteer service.

This depends on your academic institution and must be organized through your school. Students may wish to apply for a student placement with OCISO, however, students are encouraged to apply in advance and arrange a placement before the start of the semester.

If transportation is a concern for you please contact the volunteer coordinator to arrange reimbursement. Volunteers that choose to use their own vehicle can receive reimbursement for travel when volunteering by filling out the mileage log form. Volunteers that use bus services can make a request for bus tickets.

Some volunteers like to have a fixed appointment with their service user, but others arrange appointments on a week by week basis, for example, if they work shifts. This is fine, as long as the volunteer is reliable and consistent, and keeps the volunteer coordinator updated.

A volunteer is asked to provide a minimum of one to four hours per week on average. A commitment of three months minimum is expected of all volunteers who join OCISO in order to make this a worthwhile experience for all persons involved. A successful volunteer experience requires commitment on the part of both OCISO and the individual volunteer.

The schedule for most volunteer work at OCISO is generally between 9-5 and 5-8 pm. On rare occasions, for example, special events or private tutoring, there may be some work scheduled for weekends. However, this is generally the exception, not the norm.

Yes. Depending on your area of interest and your past experience, you can be assigned to work with children, youth, newcomer adults, or seniors groups. For example, experience in early childhood education can likely be a great match for parents needing childcare assistance while they are involved in learning English language instruction through the LINC.

Yes. The volunteer position is flexible according to your schedule, although advance notice of absences is appreciated. The only exception is for childcare and classroom assignments. Commitment and punctuality are very important when working in coordination with families and teachers.

Yes. OCISO always strives to make the best possible match between volunteers and clients. Any attributes or skills that enhance the match between volunteer and newcomer client are taken into consideration during the volunteer assessment process.

Volunteers can contribute a variety of skills to the work at OCISO.

Volunteers who join the Mentorship Program can participate in a Career Mentor Orientation Program that is offered at OCISO on a monthly basis. This provides an introduction for volunteers on how to help newcomers gain employment in their desired area of work. The orientation is a two-hour session which introduces volunteers to the process of helping internationally trained professionals to gain employment in Canada, working with volunteers who are employed in a similar field.

Volunteers provide support for the staff working at OCISO. There are a variety of programs that volunteers can participate in, including:
• Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
• Mentoring Programs – career and youth
• Youth Program
• Summer ESL Program
• Homework Tutor – for children, youth, and adults
• Translation and Interpretation
• Receptionist/ Office Support
• Seniors’ and Women’s Programs
• Administrative/Office support
• Conversation and social group activities

There are enough activities available to match the unique interests of all volunteers who participate in OCISO’s Volunteer Program.

Please contact OCISO either online or by phone. You will be asked to provide a current resume with your email, your availability for volunteering, and your area of interest, e.g., career mentoring, tutoring, the age group for the persons that you would like to work with, etc. This information helps us match volunteer skills and interest with the service delivery needs of OCISO. Please fill out the attached forms and either scan and email them or bring them with you.

OCISO operates as a non-profit organization in Canada and relies on core funding from Canadian funding sources at the federal, provincial, and municipal level, as well as international funding support. Some of OCISO’s funders include:

• Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC)
• Department of Canadian Heritage
• Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC)
• Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
• Conseil Scolaire des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario
• Conseil scolaire des écoles catholique de Centre Est (CSDCEO)
• Ontario Trillium Foundation
• City of Ottawa
• Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)
• United Way/Centraide Ottawa
• United Nations Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture (UNVFVT)

Over 25,000 immigrants and refugees a year are supported through the programs and services offered at OCISO.

OCISO staff work at four different locations across Ottawa. These locations include offices at:
• 959 Wellington St. (Community Integration, Counselling, and Mentorship Programs)
• 945 Wellington St. (Volunteer Program, Administration, Community Development, Multicultural Liaison Coordinators)
• LINC-Ottawa South at 1800 Bank St.

All OCISO offices are easily accessible by OC Transpo.

OCISO currently employs approximately 100 staff in a variety of departments. Our staff come from many different backgrounds, including social work, counselling, teaching, finance, and administration.

OCISO offers a range of programs and services to help newcomers settle into their new life in Canada. These programs include:
• Settlement services, including career mentoring programs to help with securing employment opportunities
• Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program, where free childcare is provided for parents participating in classes
• Counselling Program, providing supportive guidance for persons who have experienced trauma and upheaval in leaving their homelands
• Multicultural Liaison Officer (MLO) Program, providing integration services in schools
• Community Development Program
• Summer ESL Camp: Step Ahead Program
• Cross-Cultural Training, providing workshops on multiculturalism and cross-cultural trends and issues
• Volunteer Program