ISANS Welcome Ambassador Program: Spreading Love Across Communities

ISANS’ Welcome Ambassador Training Program is a long-standing staple of our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion programming. Over time, as the immigration landscape has changed and evolved in Nova Scotia and across the world, our Welcome Ambassador Training Program has also changed to meet new needs.

This Q&A, answered by our Welcome Ambassador Program facilitator, will give insight into what our Welcome Ambassador Training is, who it is for, and how it has changed to create more well-rounded Welcome Ambassadors.

Q: What is the Welcome Ambassador Training Program?

A: The Welcome Ambassador Training Program is specifically designed to assist communities in becoming more welcoming, diverse, and inclusive for all people who live, work, learn, and play in Nova Scotia, especially [for] refugees and immigrant newcomers. The training program is delivered through an experiential learning process in a participatory format and can be done online or face-to-face.

Q: How does the Welcome Ambassador Training Program work?

A: The Welcome Ambassador workshop is a 12-hour session spread across four weeks of three-hour sessions per week. This allows the participants to have an opportunity to reflect on key concepts delivered in each module. The modules are as follows:

  • Module1: Community Building &  Understanding the Newcomer experience​
  • Module 2: Cultural Humility and Trauma-Informed Approach (first-voice guest speaker)​
  • Module 3: Power & Privilege​
  • Module 4: Communication & Action Plans​

The workshops can also be tailored to specific groups as a two-day professional development opportunity. The facilitator will work with your team to generate personalized, applicable competencies to make your workplace or organization more welcoming and inclusive.

Q: What is the history of the Welcome Ambassador Training Program at ISANS?

A: The Welcome Ambassador Training is funded by Nova Scotia Immigration and Population Growth (NSIPG) and was first designed to respond to the 2016 Syrian refugee surge to support and promote community readiness to welcome refugees who come to their communities.

Q: What updates have been made to the program?

A: Over the years, the shift of the program has been broadened to cover all newcomers and not only refugees. The training modules have also been improved to include a trauma-informed approach to help with developing cultural humility. Lastly, the concept of intersectionality has been further expanded for an increased understanding of power and privilege.

Q: Who is the Welcome Ambassador Training Program for?

A: The Welcome Ambassador Training Program is designed for volunteers, service providers, private refugee sponsorship groups, government employees, business groups, and or anyone interested in building their skills and knowledge to support more inclusive, diverse and welcoming communities for the newcomers in our workplaces and communities.

Q: How does the Welcome Ambassador Training Program help local communities and workplaces become more inclusive?

A: Who better to talk about Welcome Ambassador Training than Welcome Ambassadors themselves who have passed through the program?

Many participants of this program have reported in a focus group discussion that they take pride in being Welcome Ambassadors! In the words of a past participant of Welcome Ambassador training, “I volunteered in the committee that organized a multicultural event in Digby on October 21, 2023 […] as a result of this training, I am now volunteering in my local community to welcome newcomers” (A Welcome Ambassador from Annapolis Community Health Center). 

Another Welcome Ambassador had this to say in response to a question about their experience participating in the program and how the training has changed how they welcome newcomers: “The training was great! It was nice to be able to hear others’ stories and experiences. It definitely makes me stop and think about how others might feel in various situations,” […] “I try to research how things are in their country to better understand the changes they will encounter being in Nova Scotia. I also try to find others in our community who are of the same background.” 

One way Welcome Ambassadors help local communities and workplaces become more inclusive is through organized events, which range from talking to friends, family, and colleagues to organizing multicultural events in their communities in partnership with local organizations. These engagements produce a ripple effect that spreads love across the communities. Welcome Ambassadors commit to undertaking at least one community event after the training as a way of putting into practice what they have gained from the training.

To contact ISANS about the Welcome Ambassador Training Program, please email Oge Chukwudozie at

Leave a Comment