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Meet With Our Activity Leaders

Our Activity Leaders


Maryam Safarzadeh

Program: Painting with Maryam

Maryam Safarzadeh has been teaching art and creation for 29 years.  An Iranian Poet and Painter, Maryam started painting as a child and learned from various Masters of Painting in Iran, including the renowned Iranian Artist Taha Behbehani.

Maryam teaches in various art schools and institutes, as well as in her own studio in Windsor. She has a degree in Graphic Design and is also an accomplished poet. Many Iranian composers have created songs with her poems. 

To participate at home, participants will need to supply their own canvas, paint brushes, acrylic paint, and paint palette. Other supplies to be discussed in session or call 

Neelam Sharma
Let's Talk: Hindi

I came to Canada in 2007 and eventually settled in Windsor in 2014. I am known for my bright energy, entrepreneurial spirit and ability to multitask. I  I founded Little India Herbal and Wellness Spa, a local small business in downtown Windsor which has been featured on CTV and radio. I'm a proud mother of four kids and live in the beautiful Riverside Drive neighborhood. I have been an active voice for South Asians in Windsor serving as Director on the South Asian Centre of Windsor Board since 2017. I have led and assisted in many initiatives and my work focuses on fostering connections within the community so we grow together. My goal is to become a voice of Windsor where I can communicate with our community to provide news and information on events happening in the city. I am going to be co-founder of Windsor Talkies which will be on air and online in the coming weeks. This will serve as a channel for the local community, especially to connect and serve seniors in the South Asian community of Windsor.


Chris Elliott

Programs: Jammin’ For Wellness and Songs of Our Lives

My name is Chris Elliott, I am a recent graduate of the Social Service Worker - Gerontology program from St.Clair College. I am also a very big music fan who believes in the healing power of music and I enjoy helping people feel better with it. I find that I am able to connect with people through music and I am excited to connect with you.


Doreen Thibert

Program: Virtual Death Café

Doreen worked with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Queen's Park for many years in a variety of different roles. Also including a six-year leave of absence as an expatriate, living and working in India, Romania, Brazil and the United Kingdom.  It was through her international work that Doreen was exposed to different approaches to the end of life, most notably the opportunity to work with Mother Theresa in Calcutta, serving the dying in 1994 &1996.

Doreen is a Death Doula, Grief Educator & Funeral Celebrant also trained in Dignity Therapy who provides end of life support services in the Windsor area, where she was the Education Coordinator for the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County.

Because of her desire to normalize death as the final stage of life, Doreen launched One Thread Consulting which provides end of life services to individuals and their families. She is driven by a passion to help individuals, to make a difference.


Jodie Matte

Program: Action for Happiness Group

My name is Jodie Matte and I live in Essex, ON.  I have been running Action for Happiness Get Togethers in person and online for about two years now.  I am an avid crocheter, quilter and all around crafter.  I also love attending and volunteering with my church.  Building community is a passion of mine.  I am married to my husband Adam and have two budgies, Buster and Kittywanda.



Program: One Song a Week and French Connection Cafe

Fida holds a PhD in French Literature from Western University, Canada. She is a published writer in francophone Literature field. She plays the classical and acoustic guitar. She likes to sing, read and be in nature. 

Hope Humphery

Hope Humphrey loves people and hearing about their lives. Hope was a secondary school teacher for 10 years, and then a stay-at-home mom and caregiver for her family for 12 years. Hope has a background in Gerontology from George Brown College (2016) and worked in long-term care developing innovative older adult experiences for 4 years. Hope worked as a community outreach worker for the Neighbours initiative within Toronto. Hope adores being out and participating in her local neighbourhood. But wherever Hope is, she tries to bring out in people their own positive ideas, strengths, and resiliencies to keep them going.

Ritu Sood

Program: Hindi Connection Cafe

Ritu Sood is the Lead teacher at Windsor Women working with Immigrant women. She is also ESL teacher at Mason Public School, Windsor. Ritu is Ontario certified teacher with Intermediate/Senior qualifications along with that she is also an Ontario Certified English Language Teacher (OCELT, ICTEAL and CTESOL Certified Teacher).  Ritu is actively engaged with online teaching/learning and currently teaches courses and workshops (online and face-to-face) in higher education pedagogies. She has been teaching in Windsor for fifteen years. Ritu works with applied education technology focusing on teachers of language. She has an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in science and in education. She has had a variety of positions including classroom teacher, curriculum courseware developer, teacher-trainer, and Lead Teacher. Ritu has proficiency in Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Gujarati languages of South Asia.

Padma Mohan.
Program: Tamil Connection Cafe
Phone based cafe for Tamil seniors

Padma is a grandma, mom, wife and a passionate educator. She has worked with Greater Essex County District School Board for two decades. During her teaching career at Vincent Massey Secondary School, Padma led many Action Research Projects, guided Ministry initiated Teacher Leadership Program, and led the Science Department as Department Head. In 2010, Padma was the Co-Chair for Massey’s 50th Reunion, which was well attended by more than 2000 former Mustangs. She has served as Vice-President and board of director with Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women organization for seven years. During that period, she was the chair for their annual fundraising gala and has mentored many foreign trained teachers. Padma is the recipient of  2019 “The Patrick Whippey Award for Science Outreach.” Padma sings Carnatic songs and loves to listen to Tamil music.

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