All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
The OLIP Council is committed to leadership.  In only a few years, we have a common vision and priorities, and are up to the task of implementing the Ottawa Immigration Strategy.

Salimatou Diallo
OLIP Council Vice Chair, Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario
In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.  

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council
The WOW seminar on immigrant women’s nutrition and health was a step in the right direction towards closing the gap between academic researchers and service providers.

Josephine Etowa
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee

Finding a family away from home

June 14, 2018

“When I arrived in the city in 2016 to study business at the University of Ottawa, I felt like I had landed in the middle of nowhere and was very lonely,” says Seka Wilfried Adon, an international student from the Ivory Coast.  “I only had a few friends in Gatineau, so I joined InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) at the university to meet other newcomers and Canadians.”

Cheralyn Post and Seka Wilfried Adon

Cheralyn Post graduated from the University of Ottawa three years ago and for the past two years has worked full time as mentor and spiritual advisor at the IVCF.  IVCF is an official campus club that works closely with student leaders, to create a space for students to participate in Bible studies, social events and outreach opportunities.

“IVCF’s role is to bring students together,” says Cheralyn. “We celebrate each other’s cultural holidays and have grown across so many cultures. The experience of working with Wilfried and other international students has really opened up my world too! Wilfried brings a real excitement when he walks into the room. He has a commitment to seeking and speaking the truth and helping others see what is true about them.”

“Through this club, Cheralyn welcomes students from all over the world for a weekly dinner gathering,” says Wilfried. “As international students, we often have a feeling of being lost, but this club is like finding a family away from home – with good people, great food, stimulating conversation and a chance to study the bible together.”

Although the core function of InterVarsity is for the members to meet about their faith, both Seka and Cheralyn chuckle when they agree that one of the draws of the club is sharing good food together. “I definitely come for the food too,” says Wilfried. But most importantly, Cheralyn has gone beyond the club activities to personally assist me when I needed it. That’s why she’s truly a Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador.”