Last week an immigrant from the Bahamas came and spoke to our class about her experiences as an immigrant to Canada. After wich our teacher asked us: are there lessons we can learn from our guest’s story?
In my opinion we can learn a lesson from her story. We learned that immigration is not just having to get use to a different culture; emigrating out of your country on your own means that you have to leave your family behind which is emotionally difficult. Also, even if an immigrant is already qualified to work in their country they may not be able to work in the country that they just emigrated to. Emigrating to another country can be even more difficult if you do not speak the language. Fortunately for our guest she knew how to speak english and is now learning to speak french. However, not all immigrants are so lucky. Finally, it can also be hard for immigrants to get a job once they get to their new country because of this language barrier.
This leads the discussion to the next question that was asked which was: how can we participate in our community to help immigrants and refugees integrate and to help them avoid poverty?
In my opinion, I think that communities should meet and help the newly immigrated people so that they know that they are not alone and that they have friends in their new town that will help them if they need it. I think this would be a big help because, as mentioned earlier, some immigrants have just moved far away from their families and have no one to turn to for help and advice which would help them emotionally. Having friends in their new community will give them a better sense of belonging and help them to better integrate into their new community. Also, having friends in your community as an immigrant would probably help the process of finding a job easier as the towns people would know what jobs are available or at least know here to look. In addition, for immigrants who have trouble with the language, having friends that understand you will help even more in their job search as they can help them create a resumé in the correct language along with the correct spelling.
The previous answer is also related to the last question that our teacher asked us which was: should we get involved in helping immigrants to integrate or should we leave it up to the professionals?
I believe that it needs to be a mix of both. The people in the community should help the immigrants to integrate into their community and their new country’s culture, but professionals are needed to be sure that they learn all the rules of their new language, that is if they do not know them already. Also, professionals know before hand exactly what difficulties an immigrant will have when moving to a new country where as not all people may understand the difficulties of an immigrant. However, the people of the community just by being there to support them, again as mentioned earlier, will help them feel more comfortable, making the process of integrating much easier.
In closing, the people of Canada need to remember that most of our families at some point in history were immigrants to Canada, as I believe most do. We need to help our new immigrants as it is what our families or even our selves wanted when immigrating here, and because immigrating is not an easy thing to do.