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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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

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.