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
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
I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
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
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
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
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
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 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
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

The power of social media to connect newcomers

June 14, 2018

“Jean Roberth Souza makes a difference as a very active volunteer within Ottawa’s Brazilian community,” says Priscila Gondim Alves. “He has assisted many newcomers to Ottawa, including myself, with his knowledge, goodwill, friendship and generosity of spirit. He has made this city a much better place to live with more opportunities for all.”

Jean Roberth Souza and Priscila Gondim Alves

Jean Roberth emigrated from Brazil a decade ago and is a successful Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professional. Through his numerous contributions to a Brazilian community Facebook page with more than 6,000 followers, he has guided many newcomers to helpful information about job fairs, specialized newcomer services, employment support programs, language training, as well as tourism, hospitality and free cultural activities. Jean Roberth has also worked for a special immigration project aimed at attracting internationally educated professionals to work in the ICT sector in Canada.

“I know from my own experience, when you arrive in a new city and country, it’s difficult at first,” says Jean Roberth. “When I came to Ottawa 10 years ago, social media didn’t really exist and as a newcomer you need information quickly about services, including those offered by settlement agencies.”

“The first work I found two years ago in Ottawa was due to a job fair announcement Jean Roberth had posted on the Brazilian community group Facebook page,” explains Priscila. “Being a newcomer, even with a law degree, it was challenging to find a job. That job was very special because it represented my first Canadian professional experience and I learned a lot with it. Nevertheless, that job was, in fact, the bridge to take me one step higher and I received an offer to work for an international manufacturer of luxury items.”

“I confess that when I first heard about Ottawa, people told me that it would be a boring place to live,” adds Priscila. “On the contrary, Ottawa is an absolutely vibrant, friendly and welcoming city, full of opportunities for those who want to study and work hard to have a new and prosperous life. Jean Roberth helped me break this stereotype.”

“I am very honoured to be recognized as a Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador,” says Jean Roberth. “My dream is to create a more united Brazilan community through social media.” It is estimated that close to 2,000 Brazilians live in the national capital region and of these, 500 are international students.