Meet our Teams: Health and Interpretation

Emma Hickey

Did you know the team at Newcomer Connections speaks 20 different languages, and represents 21 different countries? The diversity represented on our team is an asset when it comes to helping newcomers to our community who are just embarking on their journey to learn a new language.

Our Health and Interpretation team is the voice of the client, helping to transfer messages from one language to another. Our Health Liaison helps to coordinate appointments for newcomers in Saint John, and on average assists in booking and communicating 65 appointments per week. Some of our interpreters are people who have lived in Saint John for a long time, and some are newcomers who arrived in Canada not long ago and want to give back to the community.

Meet our Teams: Health and Interpretation

The Health and Interpretation Team consists of (back row, from left) External Interpreter Reham Abazid, Casual Interpreters Mohammad Lababede and Shereen Khattab, (front row, from left) Health Liaison and Interpreter Team Lead Dima Abou Chaaban, and Internal Interpreter Afnan Almatrood.

We aim to make the city more accessible to newcomers by assisting those in their first year of arrival – or with language level 4 and below – and advocate for their settlement into the greater Saint John community. Within our staff and volunteer team, we interpret:

  • Arabic
  • Turkish
  • Mandarin
  • Farsi
  • French
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu

With 60+ hours of interpretation on a weekly basis, the topics our interpreters cover include meetings with settlement counsellors, parent-teacher conferences, dental and optical appointments, banking appointments, and limited health and Service NB/Canada appointments.

The Interpretation Team is always in high demand, and always in need of volunteers to help support their work. As a volunteer interpreter, you could be the link in communication for newcomers in Saint John – not only would you help to ensure a newcomer is heard and understands others clearly, you will have the opportunity to meet new people and experience firsthand the difference our team at Newcomer Connections can make.

We encourage anyone to volunteer as an interpreter, and we accept all languages! For more information on the role or to submit an application visit our website, or write us at