Inspiring women to believe in themselves
Name: Rana Aldibs
Position: Health and wellness co-ordinator, YWCA
Job description: Through the health and wellness programs that I deliver, I work to inspire women to believe in themselves. My goal is to build confidence and self-esteem, build a world where women have tools and support to make their dreams come true with a particular focus on newcomer women. Recently I have worked to provide specialized programs for women who are recently arrived Syrian newcomers.
How did you come to be in this job? My many experiences and past employment have led me to this job. I came to Hamilton from Palestine in 2001 with a health and medical background. I quickly learned that it would be a challenge to get into the health field in Canada. Over the past 15 years, I have worked at many things. Early on I owned a business with my husband. My health background allowed me to work as health and wellness educator, fitness trainer and food adviser at the YWCA Hamilton and also with Public Health in Hamilton; a counsellor at the Immigrants Working Centre and as a volunteer translator to support newcomers in health and other settings.
What gets you up in the morning? I love helping others. I want to use my experience to help women, especially newcomer women, to be better connected to each other and to the community.
Lessons learned? In order to help others, you need to listen to their stories and study their cultures. You need to be sensitive to their needs. If you can touch their souls, you can keep the hope alive inside them.
Roots: Our family chose to come to Hamilton because we had friends in this community.
Most recent social media post(s):
Strong moms, strong babies! Had a great class out at the park #babybootcamp @YWCA_Hamilton @YWCAHamiltonFit
Groups and associations: Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Syrian Newcomers-Community Supports & Networks Working Group, Public Health Food Advisory Committee, WrapAround Hamilton, International Women’s Day Planning Committee, Hamilton Mosque and others.
Favourite place in Hamilton? The waterfront. It is the first place I connected with in Hamilton.
What would make Hamilton a better city? I would like to see relations between Hamiltonians and the multicultural communities improve.
What’s next for you? I want to continue my work helping women connect across cultures. This feature was co-ordinated by the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council (HIPC), Global Hamilton and Workforce Planning Hamilton to highlight professionals from a diversity of backgrounds. If you know an immigrant professional or entrepreneur who would make a good candidate for this series, contact Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council at immigration.partnership @hamilton.ca.
Rana Aldibs is a health and wellness co-ordinator for the YWCA.