Testimonies / Testimoniales

If you are an agency or organization that is interested in working with us, we’d love to hear from you. You can find testimonies from some of our project partners below:

Nos alegraría mucho oir de agencias y organizaciones interesadas en trabajar con nosotros. Véanse abajo testimoniales de algunos de nuestros socios en diferentes proyectos:

This is what our partners comment about our projects and our volunteeers 2017-2018

Small Project Small project at Little Mountain Neighborhood House, Computer Literacy Course for Spanish Speakers (2017)

Hi Maria
Mariana, the facilitator of the Computer Literacy program is very pleased with the help of the students volunteers from the Spanish for Community, FHIS, UBC. On Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Juliana Kaufmanis and Cemre Naz Barsbay did an excellent job. Ragini Jain contacted me and she will volunteer on November 21, and 22, 2017. Thank you for sending us volunteers, we figure that three volunteers will be enough.
Juliana and Cemre had the opportunity to practice their Spanish and they learnt new vocabulary, they worked on a one on one basis with the participants that needed most help. Our participants are all women and they don’t know anything about computers, this has been an excellent combination, Juliana and Cemre shared their computer knowledge with our participants while practicing their Spanish.
Thank you Maria and thank you to Spanish for Community, FHIS, UBC for making this project possible.
Arely Rodriguez
Spanish Settlement Worker
3981 Main Street l Vancouver BC
604.879.7104 ext. 413/323 (p) l 604.879.7113 (f)
“Neighbour helping Neighbour”

Project “Gift from Our Lives” (2016-2017):

“Dear Maria,

I wanted to thank you for the wonderful project we could develop together. It was a very meaningful experience for the seniors of the Latin American group. The excitement with which they refer to this project and the smiles in their faces only confirm what research says about the positive effects of intergenerational contact.I wrote a brief report of the experience where I included what the seniors told me about the experience. I hope we can repeat and/or expand the project. It has been a pleasure working with you, Carola and Maria Adelaida.
I’m cc Kyle and Madeleine in this email, as I also need to thank them for the support.
My apologies if the wording of the report is rough as I had to translate from Spanish, which could be -as you Maria may know- extremely difficult. But I think that with some imagination to stretch the idiomatic use of some words and expressions we can get into the feelings of the seniors.
I hope we can continue collaborating in this project, as well as other initiatives (like the New Horizons grant to encourage seniors volunteerism).
Thanks again!”
María José Torrejón

Spanish Outreach Program Coordinator
South Granville Seniors Centre
1420 W 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6H 1M8
(604) 732-0812
The South Granville Seniors Centre is a non-profit organization that provides drop-in programs and services that promote health, well-being and independent lifestyles for seniors living in the South Granville/Fairview and surrounding areas. We are also one of the few places in Canada that run a regular Spanish Outreach Program for Spanish speaking seniors.

Dear Dr. Averill:

On behalf of the REACH Community Health Centre I would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to the faculty and students of the French, Hispanic and Italian Studies Department for their major contribution to our Program. As a Community Service Learning Project, students from the class of Spanish 207, Sections 201-202, volunteers from Spanish 302, and fourth year Spanish Program students translated our “We Love Veggies” participant manual into Spanish.  The “We Love Veggies” program at REACH Community Health Centre is an eight week cooking course for parents of children aged 0-6  which facilitates the addition of healthy vegetables to their diets.  The program also builds the capacity of the parents to develop feeding strategies to create health attitudes towards mealtimes for their children.  Participants include families from a wide variety of cultural groups in the Commercial Drive area, and the Spanish translation of the manual will be invaluable.  In addition, staff and students assisted us with improving the cultural relevance of the material to make the manual more useful and appealing to the participants.  We are also very thankful for their unexpected generosity of having 25 copies of the manual printed.

We are particularly grateful to Dr. Maria Carbonetti, who coordinated the project, as well as Professor Sylvia Bascou Vallarino and Mackenzie Balance and Vincent Cox, volunteers from advanced Spanish courses. We believe these projects are mutually beneficial;  we have an important and useful resource for our program, and the students have an increased awareness of community issues and are able to contribute to them in a meaningful way.  We look forward to the opportunity to participate in more such projects in the future.  

Yours sincerely,

Patricia Dabiri, Manager,

REACH Multicultural Family Centre

Temporary Site:  505-1750 East 10th Ave. Vancouver BC   V5N 5K4



07 April 2014

 Dear Dr. Gage Avrill (Dean Faculty of Arts) and Dr. Gaby Pailer (Head French, Hispanic and Italian Studies),

I write to gratefully acknowledge the outstanding work of the Community Service Learning Program at UBC in translating the Refugee Hearing Preparation: A Guide for Refugee Claimants (“the Guide”) into Spanish.  The Guide, created by Kinbrace Community Society, is developed for refugee claimants to assist them in preparing for their hearings before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada-Refugee Protection Division (IRB-RPD).

The UBC Spanish classes of Professors Maria Carbonetti and Kim Beauchesne translated the updated version of the Guide during the month of March 2014 competently, quickly and efficiently.   Mr. Fernando Campos, convention refugee and former refugee claimant, and Fran Gallo, Kinbrace’s READY Tour Coordinator, thoroughly enjoyed their visits to their respective classes to introduce the work we do at Kinbrace and the experiences that led Mr. Campos to make a refugee claim in Canada.

At the READY Tour, which is an orientation to the refugee hearing for refugee claimants with upcoming hearings before the IRB-RPD, Kinbrace has been distributing a transitional hearing preparation guide to refugee claimant and service provider participants, but only in English.  With this translation of the updated Guide, we will be able to provide the guide in Spanish to the native Spanish speakers that participate in the tour.  We will also make the Guide available in hard copy to community agencies that work with refugee claimants and on-line for access to the community at large.  Our previous Guide is available on Click-law and through the BC law library system.  The new Guide will also be made available to those community legal services and through our website www.kinbrace.ca

Recently Kinbrace applied for a Law Foundation of Ontario grant to make the hearing preparation guide applicable to Ontario in 9 languages.  With adjustments to the current Spanish translation of the BC Guide, the UBC students’ work will hopefully be used by refugee claimants and community advocates in Ontario soon.

Professors Carbonetti and Beauchesne are invited to the UNHCR and IRB sponsored launch of the new Guide which will take place on April 30th at the offices of the Immigration and Refugee Board.  We hope that they will join us in celebrating the publication of the Guide in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Arabic.  Following that event, the Guide will be advertised to community agencies throughout the province and distributed to refugee claimants and the agencies that service them.

It was a pleasure collaborating with Professors Carbonetti and Beauchesne and their students.  The Community Service Learning program is an amazing initiative that allows students to apply their newly learned skills to assist vulnerable members of the community.  I express a sincere thank-you to UBC for this innovative and generous initiative.


Loren Balisky, Executive Director                                           


April 29, 2016

Dr Gage Averill
Dean, Faculty of Arts University of British Columbia

Dear Dr. Averill:

Dr. Jan Christilaw

Vice President,
Provincial Women’s & Newborn Health, PHSA Site Executive,
BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre

4500 Oak Street – B2 West
Vancouver, BC V6H 3N1
P 604 875 3566 | F 604 875 3456 jchristilaw@cw.bc.ca | www.bcwomens.ca

Life. Our line of work.

On behalf of BC Women’s Hospital, I would like to thank Dr. Maria Carbonetti, Professor Sylvia Bascou Vallarino, and the students of the class: Spanish 207, Sections 201-202 for their volunteer work for our Hospital. They translated several documents in our patient information library into Spanish. Of particular note, they translated a complicated patient-decision-aid where families are guided to assess the benefits and risks of choosing to plan vaginal birth or elective repeat caesarian section after a previous caesarian section.

With the diversity of languages and cultures in our Province, it makes us proud to be able to meet women’s needs for high quality health information in their first language. At the same time, we appreciate the community service that faculty and students at UBC are engaging in. We applaud your Community Service Learning Projects. The role-modeling this provides to university students can last a lifetime.


Jan Christilaw, MD, FRCSC, MHSc
Vice President, Provincial Women’s & Newborn Health Provincial Health Services Authority
Site Executive, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre

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