Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator
I grew up in North Vancouver, BC and completed my undergraduate degree in 2002 at the University in Waterloo with an Honours B.A. in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a business option. I spent time living and working in Ecuador and the Caribbean and then relocated to Victoria in 2005. My work experience in Victoria includes positions at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria, Fairfield Gonzales Community Centre, the James Bay Community Centre and Manager of the Victoria West Community Centre. In May 2014, I began my Masters in Community Development through the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. In September 2014, I moved to Trinidad and Tobago to complete my master’s project with the United Way of Trindad and Tobago, developing an advocacy strategy to improve special education in the public school system. I also home schooled my two children MJ (10) and Leo (7) and we were active volunteers with the Healing with Horses Foundation. I recently returned to Victoria and upon completing my Masters began a contract as the Project and Research Coordinator with the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness. I am eager to contribute to the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria mandate as the Community Integration Coordinator.
May Shihadeh, Settlement Worker
I immigrated to Canada in 1990 and lived in Montreal for a year, I then moved to Ontario to continue my education. That is where my journey of volunteering began.
I have volunteered at Grape View elementary school for ten years, Heart and Stroke foundation, Kidney foundation, Terry Fox run for cancer and Qamar youth foundation. I have also worked on fundraising for Somalia, Gaza Crises and a Mission of Hope in Tanzania, Niagara Regional Police and I have also worked with Election Canada for nearly a decade.
I joined the Islamic Society of St. Catharine’s to help immigrants coming to Canada and that is where I discovered my passion for helping others in resettlement, fundraising, youth program, support and counselling individuals to adjust in the new culture, help in Arabic classes, and translations for 13 years.
Recently, I moved to Victoria and joined the Counselling Center for Immigrants & Refugees. I became part of four private sponsorship groups, am a member of BMCA Refugees Committee and was awarded with an outstanding volunteer award. I then volunteered at ICA as Community Facilitator along with being a Translator for ICA.
At the present time I’m working on a book in Arabic for Culture Shock & Strategies for newcomers to Canada. I am currently working on a photo gallery to help fundraise for the Syrian refugees.