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
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
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
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
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
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
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
The work and expertise that OLIP brings to our community is so important as it helps us to build bridges and break down silos.  I look forward to our continued work together. 

Jim Watson, Mayor 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

Welcoming Workplaces

June 14, 2018

“I arrived in Canada in May 2016 and first met Kelly McGahey in October of the same year,” says Diane Tuyishime, a newcomer from Burundi. We were matched through the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) career mentoring program.

“Every week, Kelly and I would meet at her office,” says Diane. “We had a simple routine: go in the kitchen to make ourselves coffee before heading to the meeting room to chat about life in Ottawa and my job search. Our conversations were of immense value to me. That simple routine also changed my image of Canadian offices and workplaces. It went from the tall, modern, all glass impenetrable buildings, to a warm and welcoming place. A place where I felt the possibility of belonging.”

Diane Tuyishme and Kelly McGahey

Kelly works at Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO) and has volunteered as an OCISCO mentor for several years.  “Kelly introduced me to her network and people who work in marketing and communications, which is my field of work,” adds Diane. “Encouraged by her support, I was able to secure a job within four months. Kelly helped build my confidence and pointed out that I fully deserved this position.”

“What I value the most about our relationship, is the respect and trust she has shown me,” says Diane. “She has respected my decisions all the way and provided her opinion only when I asked for it. I have, at times, made decisions that I knew she wouldn’t strongly recommend. Even then, she valued my perspective and trusted that I was the one to make the call.

Kelly recently invited Diane to deliver a speech at a HIO event in front of more than 100 people, which was a little intimidating for Diane. “Kelly believed I was able to do it, even when I was not so sure myself,” explains Diane.

“For that and for all the hundred little things we have shared, Kelly is my ambassador of welcome in Ottawa,” concludes Diane.

“I am deeply honoured and grateful to receive the Welcoming Ambassador award,” states Kelly. “It’s been such a pleasure to work with Diane. It’s not just about the job search, Diane and I enjoy each other’s company.”

When Diane found a job, their formal mentorship relationship came to an end, but they have remained good friends, often sharing chats and lunches together.