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Safia (Democratic Republic of Congo)

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  Born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo | Safia’s parents met in Toronto in 1977, when they were both visiting the city hoping to pursue opportunities not available in their respective home countries of Burundi and Kenya. After falling in love and getting married here, they decided they wanted to settle in Canada. Safia’s…

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Cindy (Indonesia)

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Born in Padang, Indonesia | For most of Cindy’s grandmother’s life, she cooked and baked out of her own home, hoping to sell enough goods at the market to enable her to feed seven children. As the eldest son, Cindy’s father was expected as a youngster to work and generate income for the family. With…

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Anya (Belarus)

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  Born in Bobruisk, Belarus | Anya’s family came to Canada from Belarus looking for a better life. They initially moved to Waterloo, and then Anya headed alone to Toronto to attend York University’s Glendon Campus where she studies Psychology and French. Living in Toronto she appreciates not only the big city locales, but also…

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Marina (Kazakhstan)

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  Born in Atyrau, Kazakhstan | Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Marina’s family found itself in the midst of ethnic unrest, in what is now the country of Kazakhstan.  Her parents had had a long standing desire to leave with the hope of ensuring a better future for Marina and her older brother….

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Bernice (Ghana)

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  Born in Dichemso, Kumasi, Ghana | While being raised by her grandparents in Ghana, Bernice always believed they were actually her biological parents. Her ‘real’ parents had left to pursue a better life, and after they had settled in Canada they sent for their nine year old daughter to come live with them in…

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Milan (Czech Republic)

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  Plzen, Czech Republic | According to Milan, his parents gave up their Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic] home, and left family and friends so that he could grow up outside of “the Soviet Communist Regime”. Milan’s parents believed Canadians to be warm, polite, honest and hardworking, all qualities that they wanted their son to develop….

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Yosvani (Cuba)

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  Born in Havana, Cuba | While touring as part of a famous Cuban band through Japan in 2008, Yosvani’s life would be changed forever. After performing, he had a conversation with a fan about the impact Hurricane Gustav had on his grandmother’s home in Cuba, and this was overheard by the chaperoning government officer….

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Ruchita (Libya)

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  Born in Al-Khums, Libya | Even though Ruchita was born in Libya, she explains how her parents weren’t Libyans. While a majority of Libyans were welcoming and friendly, a minority of them did not accept ‘outsiders’ like her family. Ruchita’s father was scared that someday, someone might come and try to hurt his family….

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Said (Eritrea)

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  Born in Assab, Eritrea | Due to conflict between two nations, Said grew up with a family divided: a father in Eritrea and a mother in Ethiopia. His father, a fisherman, wanted Said to get an education and sent him from Ethiopia to live with his father’s family in Yemen. When his mother made…

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