In July of 2016, the Building Caring Communities (BCC) team embarked on a new journey with Kudoz, a learning exchange program. As a part of a participant’s connection journey, the team wanted to explore how learning exchanges could lead to self discovery, skill development, and identifying goals and interests. Through this collaboration, the BCC team began to notice some significant moments that impacted participants’ connection journeys. Today, we’d like to share Reza’s story with you:
Reza began his connection journey in June of 2016. Reza, while quiet at first, is full of bright and wonderful knowledge. Some of his many interests include nature walks, bird-watching at Burnaby Lake, history, current events, chickens, gardening, and soccer. Reza loved sharing this knowledge with people as well as learning, however, as a newcomer to Canada, he felt shy about speaking English, and did not know many people or places in his community.
When Reza and his family had the opportunity to join Kudoz through BCC, they were eager and excited to get started. Reza immediately began exploring the catalogue and selecting experiences in areas of interest that his family and community connector had no idea about! Having been a Kudoer for just a few weeks now, Reza has gone on over TEN experiences! These experiences include dancing, carpentry, historic walks through Vancouver, jam-making, dog training, and learning to draw.
With each experience that Reza attends, he is exploring new or existing interests, meeting new people, learning new skills, and sharing his own knowledge with others. Reza told his Community Connector early on that he is sometimes nervous about learning, but through these experiences, he feels more confident and enjoys learning new things. Most hosts comment afterwards that they enjoyed learning from Reza while he learned from them.
Since starting with BCC and Kudoz, Reza’s family has noticed some significant changes. At his English classes, Reza is more talkative and confident in practicing his language skills. At home, Reza shares more with his family, telling stories about his experiences in the community, as well as his experiences with Kudoz. In the community, Reza is trying out different classes and community groups related to his new areas of interest.
Perhaps the most significant of all, though, is how Reza’s family describes the bigger impact this engagement has had in Reza’s life. Reza’s family has shared with their Community Connector that his feelings of anxiety and depression are decreasing, and they are feeling more confident in their community as a resource here in Canada.
The Building Caring Communities team is all about trying new things and facilitating collaborations that foster stronger and more connected communities. Since teaming up with Kudoz, there are a handful of participants on their connection journeys that are using Kudoz as a tool for learning and self-discovery. It has been a pleasure collaborating with Kudoz over these past couple of months. Our team is very excited to continue to see the growth and impact that learning contributes towards community connections.