In­spir­ing women to be­lieve in them­selves

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS -

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 @hamil­


Rana Aldibs is a health and well­ness co-or­di­na­tor for the YWCA.

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