Let’s Make It Official

Why Language Partners BC is becoming a registered organization

Photo by Thomas Park on Unplash

Change is scary! Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

But “If it ain’t broke”...

There’s an English expression, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The expression means that if something is working, leave it alone. Language Partners BC has been working for the last five years. It has been working well! As an all-volunteer team, with basically no budget, we have been helping people in British Columbia meet and learn languages in over 35 programs. So why would we go to the trouble of registering ourselves as an official organization? After all, change is scary.

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19th Century Heritage in Burnaby Village Museum

It’s possible that you have seen Burnaby Village Museum, also called the Burnaby Heritage Village, in the lists of “must-visit places” in British Columbia.

“Village Museum” sounds so different comparing to what we immediately imagine hearing the word “museum”, so I visited it and now I want to tell you about it in case if you haven’t had a chance to go there yet.

Burnaby Tram

19th Century Original Buildings Gathered in One Village

The entrance is free, you just need to book your visit in advance due to COVID precautions.

The Village contains a set of houses and buildings originally built around the city of Burnaby in the 19th and early 20th centuries by first immigrants and settlers.  The buildings were collected and carefully transported to one place - the Heritage Village.

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Sustaining our community’s future

My path to committing to LPBC

A values-aligned home at LPBC

My first session with Language Partners BC was in the spring of 2018. I had considered getting involved with LPBC before, and jumped in at that specific moment. The attraction was a session that was to be run out of Kiwassa Neighbourhood House for the first time. As a semi-recent resident of Hastings-Sunrise, I had been looking for ways to connect with neighbourhood projects and settle into my new community. I trained as a facilitator and both facilitated and participated in that first session at Kiwassa. One of my favourite moments was our final session when every member of the group shared a favourite song in the language they were offering. The cultural learnings and joy were so deep that day as we said goodbye to each other.

Here’s the song I shared, Je veux by French singer Zaz. It’s a song about wanting joy and love in life rather than material objects or financial success.

Before taking the plunge and facilitating that session, I had first reached out to Language Partners in 2017, when I was working with the organization Dogwood BC. One of the things that had motivated me to get involved with Dogwood was a strong sense that people should be more involved in the decisions that affect them. While that specific conviction was more motivated around climate change and energy policy, I quickly came to realize that that value held true for me in most situations. This autonomy over decision-making was also a foundational value for me in language-learning and teaching.

Picture of co-facilitator Kareen Wong (left) and three participants in the second program ran at Kiwassa

Picture of co-facilitator Kareen Wong (left) and three participants in the second program ran at Kiwassa

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Volunteer Farming in British Columbia

The farm where I volunteered in Oliver, B.C.

Here’s is a funny story: even though I volunteered on farms in Turkey, I have never thought about doing it here in British Columbia, my home province. In Turkey, I worked on mulberry orchards and tea plantations, while learning Turkish and getting to know local people and places. I had a great time. So why not here? In search of a new experience closer to home, I signed up on WWOOF.ca.

The farm where I volunteered in Oliver, B.C.

Kale, sake, and river swimming

This May and early June, thanks to WWOOF Canada, I volunteered on a farm in Oliver, British Columbia. The farm grows organic vegetables to sell in local stores. I picked kale and chard, and washed and bagged lettuce and spinach.

I also helped in the greenhouse and transplanted new plants into the ground. Plus, there was a family of goats, 20 chickens, and two pigs to feed and visit.

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Join our Sharing Cycle this summer

Welcome back after the May long weekend! You probably know that Monday was Victoria Day, a holiday to celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria. Hopefully you enjoyed it.

Now as the days are getting longer for summer, we are starting something new – a sharing cycle! As part of that sharing cycle, we’re looking for your answers to important summer questions so that we can share them with our community. How do you spend your summer? How do you stay involved in the community? Any interesting summer activities or volunteer opportunities you would recommend to other people?

After all, Language Partners BC is about language but also about community connections across language communities.

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