Lurinda Swanepoel: Business on the Brain

There is much to be gained by moving to a new country, but at the same time, many things must be left behind. For Lurinda Swanepoel, emigrating meant selling a business ten years in the making.  Yet with all her experience, she was able to start a new business here in Nova Scotia in a…

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Addisu Bayisa: Still Learning

Addisu Bayisa is an excellent example that you are never too old to be a student. At 29 years old, he is currently a student here at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), learning English as an additional language.  Addisu is originally from Ethiopia, but was processed as a refugee in Kenya. His first…

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Ruth Nkemjika Onyeajam: A passion for healthcare

After taking part in ISANS’s Bridge to Work: Long-Term Care Aide pilot program, Ruth is now pursuing her Continuing Care Assistants (CCA) certificate. On track to get this certificate next year, Ruth then wants to go on to become a nurse.  In Nigeria, Ruth worked as an early childhood educator, but her childhood dream was…

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Helping to build a welcoming and inclusive province: Roshanak Sadeghi-Zadeh

Mentors played a huge role in helping Roshanak Sadeghi-Zadeh settle in Canada, and now she is assisting others by being a mentor and practice interviewer at ISANS. “Mentors really impacted my life,” says Roshanak. “They empowered me to find my way in this big scary new world when I first came to Canada.” Roshanak had…

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Helping to build a welcoming & inclusive province: John Deans

John Deans was lying on the couch one day in 2015 when he heard an appeal on the radio for volunteers to help resettle Syrian refugees. “I’d never done anything like this,” he says. “I immediately called the 211 number, thinking I’d just help out a bit.”John was assigned to the Bayers Lake distribution centre…

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Gokul Baniya: Making a New Life

Being a new arrival without English skills is enough of a challenge for most, but Gokul Baniya is also visually impaired. The Bhutanese native anxiously tells his story through an interpreter. Gokul worked as a cardamom farmer in Bhutan, but because of political unrest left for Nepal over 20 years ago. He was a refugee…

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Daysi Carolina Peraza: Immigrating and the Language Barrier

We wanted to find a better future for the family, especially my son.  But the decision about moving to another country took time and planning. It is difficult. No one can say it is easy being here. Every morning during the school year Daysi Carolina Peraza bundles up her two boys. She walks with 11-year-old…

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Janna Mercado: My Destiny Brought Me Here

The English in the Workplace program proved to be a lifesaver for Janna Mercado, creating a positive impact on her work at a Dartmouth nursing home. “There are times you just don’t get the simple conversations like: ‘Do you need a lift?’ I had no idea someone was offering me a drive; I’d say no…

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Abdul Kadar Sadieh: Chef to a Prince

It’s a long way from being personal chef to a Prince, to operating a Halifax restaurant. But that’s the path Abdul Kadar Sadieh has taken. After working almost three years for Prince Moshal Bin Abdul Al-Azez of Saudi Arabia, his life took a sharp turn in 2003 when he returned home to Syria to marry…

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Hossein Safari: As Far As I Can Go

Canada has provided a safe haven for Hossein Safari and his family from Afghanistan — his wife Nazir, and two children, Fahad, 6, and Shahab, 9. In 2001 they arrived in Halifax for what he calls a chance to live in peace. Hossein is not confident about his English skills and shares his thoughts through…

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