Skilled Opportunities Wanted!: Newcomer offers advanced skills
In Canada, up to 70% of population growth can be attributed to immigration – and each newcomer volunteers for an average of 162 hours annually. The generosity of newcomers and the drive to establish community connections makes a substantial impact on our community. However, the skill level and qualifications of newcomers is sometimes overlooked. Iveta Fojtikova, originally from Slovakia, is a shining example of the passion and talent that is regularly imported to our community.
“I was nine when the communist regime fell (the Velvet revolution, during the transition to democracy)”, Iveta noted, as she described her background to us. “This opened many doors for a little girl from Central Europe. I started to discover Europe with my parents, as soon as the borders were opened for us.”
Interestingly, while she was growing up in the hockey-loving region of Central Europe, she became a huge fan of the Montreal Canadiens. She went on to study Economy & Management, receiving a Master’s degree and eventually working as an internal auditor. Ivka has long been involved in volunteering in her home country, including helping out at the local dog shelter and helping to coordinate marathons in Prague, where she previously settled.
She is motivated to help others and make a difference in their lives:
…we didn’t have much when I was a kid, but I had a happy and loving family, and that is what matters. So helping those less fortunate gives me the feeling that I can make a difference. And I want to continue to that here in the Mac.
As an active Habs fan on twitter, she wound up making friends in far off places and became close friends with some like-minded Canadians. She wound up getting to know some of them in person, eventually befriending and falling in love with her boyfriend. “Nobody knew back then, but I would end up in the north of Canada, where bears and coyotes run around the woods around town, and it snows from October ‘til April!” Ivka, as she is known to her friends, remarked.“But… life has many surprises for us, right?”
Ivka, like many new skilled volunteers in our community, hopes to find a way to leverage her professional talents to make an impact on our community:
It would be great if I could use some of my auditing knowledge, as I don’t mind helping out with paper work. I come from a different country- that means I have work restrictions (for now)- but volunteering is an amazing way of becoming part of something big, and the feeling you get afterwards is priceless. I simply want to help, and if I can make one person – or doggie – happy, that fulfills me.