#OneEastToronto – Meet Shoaib Zaman

Shoaib Zaman smiling with blue background

#OneEastToronto shares the faces of East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), a group of more than 100 community, primary care, home care, hospital and social services organizations in East Toronto working together with community members to better connect local care and services.

In this special edition of #OneEastToronto, we’re sharing the stories of the people who play an important role in ensuring community health ambassadors have the tools they need to connect local residents with health, social and community services.

Meet Shoaib Zaman, Employment Consultant at WoodGreen Community Services.

“I was born and raised in Pakistan where I completed a Master in Social Science along with a Diploma in Information Technology. After graduating, I worked in a bank for over five years where I learned many skills such as project management, leadership and interpersonal communication. I then moved on to work in a health centre. This was when I realized how much I love serving my community.

When I decided to move to Canada, I settled down in the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood in Toronto. When I arrived, the COVID-19 pandemic had begun and I found it difficult to find a job right away due to many of the restrictions. I didn’t let this get me down and continued my search for a meaningful role in my community.

That’s when I found a volunteer opportunity through WoodGreen Community Services as a community health ambassador. When I learned more about the role of an ambassador, I felt a sense of purpose spark within me and knew I had found an opportunity that was right for me.

Like most community health ambassadors, I was first actively involved in COVID-19 outreach. This involved organizing vaccine clinics that were tailored to the needs of the Taylor-Massey community. For example, we would set up vaccine clinics inside apartment building lobbies. We contributed to a lot of thoughtful planning to help make these clinics as successful as possible, including choosing the right location and obtaining necessary permits.

We also coordinated with staff, including nurses and physicians from our partner organizations, to ensure we had sufficient supply of vaccines and the right people to administer them. Our ambassadors were readily available to help promote the clinics – for example, they shared flyers and posted on social media.

After five months of showing commitment to my community by dedicating time and effort and demonstrating my leaderships skills I started my role as a community health ambassador lead. Throughout this time I’ve witnessed our team grow to include more than 15 dedicated ambassadors, each driven by a shared passion for community service.

I believe that when you genuinely enjoy your job and are passionate about your day-to-day work, it makes life more fulfilling. As an individual that was once new to Canada, I know how important it is to have someone in the community support you when you’re not sure how to access different health and social services.

One encounter that left an impression on me was when I met a newcomer family who were looking for information about COVID-19 vaccines. The family needed help updating their vaccination status in the local health system. I was able to assist them and also connected them with the Health Access Taylor-Massey team, where they were able to access more resources within our community.

There are many qualities that are essential for community health ambassadors but the two that stand out to me are empathy and understanding. We have to remember that everyone’s comfort level is different when it comes to different health topics, especially those that may have stigma around them like mental health and cancer screening.

I believe community health ambassadors are the backbone of our community and I’m so grateful for the work they have done. Together, we’ve worked tirelessly ensure the well-being of our community.”

Get to know Shoaib more through a quick Q&A!

  • Sports or books? Sports! I love cricket and started playing in high school. Because it is a great sport that brings people together especially during the summer.
  • What’s your favourite cuisine? My favourite cuisine is Asian food such as biryani. But if that’s not readily available, I love fast food. Burgers are great!
  • What’s your favourite holiday? My favourite holiday is Eid is a special and joyful time for me and my family. It’s a time of celebration, togetherness and reflection after the period of fasting during Ramadan. Spending time with friends and family, sharing meals and expressing gratitude are important aspects of this holiday. It’s wonderful to hear that you find happiness and meaning in celebrating Eid with your loved ones
  • If you could time travel, where or when would you go? It depends on the season. If I were to time travel to a place in the summer I would love to travel to a northern area. If I were to time travel to a place in the winter I would love to go somewhere I could attend a significant cultural event or festival.

13 Comments on “#OneEastToronto – Meet Shoaib Zaman”

  1. Amazing
    Shoaib Zaman’s journey from Pakistan to becoming a pivotal figure in the Taylor-Massey community in East Toronto is truly inspiring. His transition from the banking sector to a role deeply embedded in community service highlights a remarkable shift towards fulfilling personal passion and societal contribution. Shoaib’s dedication, particularly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, showcases his resilience and commitment to community well-being. His leadership in organizing vaccine clinics tailored to the community’s needs exemplifies thoughtful and inclusive public health efforts. Furthermore, his ability to connect with newcomers, offering them guidance and support, embodies the spirit of empathy and understanding critical in community health initiatives. Shoaib’s story is a testament to the positive impact one individual can have on many lives through dedication, empathy, and leadership. His journey is not just commendable but serves as an inspiration for others to contribute to their communities in meaningful ways.

  2. Excellent work. Good to hear the successful story and journy of Mr. Shoaib. I hope to see more development of such good people.

  3. Well done passion and hard work pay you back.Amazing keep going you are doing great job for community.
    Have great success in life.

  4. This is awesome!

    His passion towards helping people, his guidance, support, and encouragement at work towards clients is commendable. His contribution towards the project helped and made the project easier and more successful, and it’s not an overstatement to say that Shoaib is an an amazing coworker.

    He brightens the office with his smile and positive attitude.

    I can see a bright future for him. Wish him nothing, but the best in life!

  5. It’s truly inspiring to read about Shoaib’s journey as an Employment Consultant at WoodGreen Community Services. Shoaib’s dedication to community service, particularly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, is commendable. His role as a community health ambassador, leading initiatives like organizing tailored vaccine clinics, reflects his passion for making a positive impact.

    Shoaib’s commitment to his community shines through his leadership skills and the growth of the ambassador team. His emphasis on empathy and understanding as essential qualities for community health ambassadors highlights the importance of connecting with individuals on a personal level, especially when addressing sensitive health topics.

    It’s heartening to see how Shoaib’s assistance to a newcomer family seeking information about COVID-19 vaccines not only provided immediate support but also facilitated access to additional resources within the community. His belief in the significance of community health ambassadors as the backbone of the community resonates strongly.

    Thank you, Shoaib, for your unwavering commitment to the well-being of the community. Your story is truly inspiring, and your leadership in community health initiatives is making a positive difference.

  6. You are such a hero how you did hard work that time (Covid 19) we need people like you to help our communities. I do appreciate for your hard work. Keep supporting our communities. Best regards

  7. Mr. Shoaib’s continuous efforts to support himself during hard times of Covid and then his role for betterment of his community through various projects is marvellous. Great work. May Allah Give him more and more successes in the right path in future. Aameen.

  8. This is so Inspiring. As my own employment counselor, I found Shoaib Zaman as a guardian. He is really helpful, friendly, and motivating. He inspired me to build up my confidence and suggested me how I can go forward towards my career. It’s really overwhelming to know about your own story Sir. I feel myself lucky to meet such an amazing person in my life.

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