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Coquitlam Library Life Stories Part #5 Newcomers and refugees
This presentation is the fifth and last in a series of "Life Stories" put on by the Coquitlam Public Library intended to raise awareness of people who are from marginalized groups and how they have experienced prejudice, social exclusion or stigma.
Judith Kambia Obatusa shares her story on her Canadian immigrant experience. She was looking forward to immigrating to Canada from Nigeria, as were the rest of her family. Unfortunately while trying to settle in her son and daughter began to experience bullying in school.
She was referred to the Child Welfare system - it was a challenge for her. She feels that her parenting skills were questioned and that it was not a positive experience for herself or her family. Through her rather negative immigration experience Judith learned to stand up for herself and that she is not powerless. She now realizes that she does not have to accept labels placed upon her by others.
Judith is also an advocate of community service. She believes that through community service immigrants can more rapidly learn about Canadian culture and hasten their integration into the community. By getting involved with community immigrants, one can find allies who can help with issues they may have navigating the system.
Subsequent speakers stressed that there are several unseen barriers for immigrants. Quite often the educational credentials or business credentials of immigrants to Canada are not recognized or fully appreciated. This can be an extreme financial set back for newcomers.
This library series has brought awareness of people who are from marginalized groups and how everyone's story is different. The speakers have experienced prejudice, social exclusion or stigma, and participants were able to ask them questions so as to learn about their story.
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