#OCASIstories / #RécitsOCASI

Two photos of volunteers at COVID-19 clinics in Toronto

People at OCASI member agencies share stories of hard work, creativity and sheer determination in working with refugees, immigrants and migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Les gens des agences membres de l’OCASI partagent des histoires d'efforts assidus, de créativité et de détermination dans leur travail avec des personnes réfugiées, immigrantes et migrantes au cours de la pandémie de COVID-19.

Ishrat Jahan

Being a part of Toronto History

Community Ambassador
TNO-The Neighbourhood Organization

My name is Ishrat Jahan, I came to Canada from Bangladesh. I finished my Masters degree in Sociology from the University of Dhaka. I love to travel, play badminton, design fashionable dresses, perform in theatre, cook new dishes and make new friends.
Read Ishrat's story

“I worked at each and every pop up clinic that we had in our community - every day we came across refugees, newcomers, Canadian Citizens and also undocumented individuals who needed to get their vaccination.”
Photo of IshratPhoto of three people distributing PPE

 Click on the images to enlarge the photos.

Isis Ambrosio Breto

A safer, healthier, and more connected community

Settlement Counsellor
Immigrant Women Services Ottawa

Working from home as a Settlement Counsellor during the Pandemic was pretty challenging at the beginning. We had to reinvent the delivery of our services and keep them efficient. It was stressful having to learn all the online platforms at once and then teach our clients how to use them before getting to the point of helping them with an immigration and/or government application. It took extra effort and energy from us, but the upside of it all was the clients ended up better prepared and more involved in their own applications. I have many clients that are grateful not just for the help guiding them with the matter at hand, but also because they acquired a huge deal of computer skills along the way. That makes my day every time.

“It took extra effort and energy from us, but the upside of it all was the clients ended up better prepared and more involved in their own applications.”

YMCA of Southwestern Ontario

YMCA of Southwestern Ontario
London, ON

We would like to present a short video recorded by a group of Settlement workers here in Windsor. They are describing how their life and work were affected by the pandemic. They also wanted to share their story with the rest of their colleagues across the province to tell them that they are not alone facing uncertainty and new challenges on a daily basis.

“Team spirit and optimism inspired me to work during the overwhelming time”
- Frida Thein

Video screenshot
 Watch video

Quinte Immigration Services

A collaborative response to service barriers
Jennifer Bryant Settlement Worker Quinte Immigration Services

Quinte Immigration Services is a non-profit charitable organization and has been supporting immigrants and refugees in the region since 1986. We provide a variety of services and programs to support all immigrants and their families throughout the Quinte region.

"In a largely rural area with multiple towns and small cities, it is a challenge to coordinate services that are going to meet the unique needs of all residents. Community programs also tend to be more separate so that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution or resource to point out."

Read Jennifer's Story