SK CultureXchange Program
SK CultureXchange Program is a cultural partnership between newcomers and established residents of Saskatchewan. This cultural partnership will cultivate the medium for supportive friendship beneficial to all. Newcomers will be able to foster a sense of belonging, while local Sakatchewans will have the opportunity to connect with newcomers in order to develop new friendships, learn/share about their community and what it has to offer, practice communication skills, and ultimately increase intercultural understanding through exchanging personal experiences in a meaningful way. These experiences will further enhance our diverse community.
The purpose of the SK CultureXchange Program is to create a friendlier and more intercultural community in Saskatchewan by providing opportunities for people from differing cultural backgrounds to get to know and support each other.
In this program, the participants will learn from volunteers who can teach them what resources Saskatchewan has to offer and support them with some of the issues that they may be experiencing as new residents. Volunteers will not only develop their leaderships skills, but also increase their understanding of the benefits of diversity to the local community. Overall, this program hopes to increase Saskatoon residents’ intercultural competencies by offering structured and supported relationships by pairing some of Saskatoon’s newest and most vulnerable residents with some of Saskatchewan’s resourceful and long settled residents.
• SIA will acquire applicants by reaching out to our community and business partners. Advertising will also be done in general public places and through social media.
• Participants and volunteers will apply to the program and specify what they are looking for in this culture exchange relationship and explain their personal background. The applications will be reviewed, and matches will be made based on preferences provided. Both the Participant and Volunteer will be contacted and informed of their match and the first meeting will be arranged.
• A volunteering agreement will be signed for a period of two months for a minimum of 10 hours. They will be given ideas on activities that can be done, suggestions for topics to discuss, and provided with a package of resources that delivers guidance on how to ensure a successful mentoring relationship.
• Following the first meeting, the pair will be checked in periodically to assess the success of the volunteering match and support will be provided when needed.
• At the end of the two-month mark, both the participant and the volunteer will be contacted to fill in an evaluation regarding their experience.
• SIA will also organize bi-monthly Intercultural sessions where all current volunteers and participants will share their experiences and get to know more about others who have participated in the program.
Due to the Corona virus, all meetings and interactions will be done via zoom or any other video communications platform.
Eligibility Criteria for Volunteers:
• Must be a Saskatchewan resident who has lived in the province for more than 5 years
• Willing to contribute to a more welcoming community, while developing leadership and intercultural skills
• Registration starts December 16th, 2020 and is ongoing
• Information session date on January 18, 2021 at 5:30 pm via zoom.