Behind every client success story at IWC is a dedicated team of frontline staff ready to provide support for whatever challenge arises. It takes years of experience and commitment to truly understand clients’ needs. After 14 years of being a Family Settlement Worker with IWC, the organization is saying farewell to Asha Bogor. It’s never easy to say goodbye especially after making such a significant impact to the lives of clients and the organization as a whole.
We celebrate and commend Asha for her years of service and are honoured to amplify her story of strength, hope and determination as she embarks on this new journey.
“In 1991, I single-handedly fled Somalia with my six children in tow after the civil war erupted resulting in the death of my dear father. Prior to this civil unrest, I happily worked as an elementary school teacher for over 10 years with several students still remaining in touch with me today. The fall of Somalia resulted in the death of my dreams of being a teacher along with the comfort of being in my home country.
My children and I were trapped at the border of Somalia and Kenya for seven years before we gained assistance from loved one to be safely escorted to Canada. Arriving to Canada brought several opportunities to myself and my children, but the transition wouldn’t necessarily be smooth at first.
After tirelessly job hunting, I ventured into continuing education courses to become fluent in speaking and writing English. This provided me with the opportunity to volunteer and job shadow before finally landing a wonderful position as a ‘Family Home Visitor’ at St. Joseph’s Immigrant Women’s Centre. During this time, I was able to assist in my mother being safely immigrated to Canada. However, after four years, she fell ill becoming hospitalized and requiring my full-time care. Unfortunately, I had to forfeit my position as a ‘Family Home Visitor’ in order to look after my mother. Thankfully, my mother did recover fully and did not require 24-hour personal care which permitted pursue my career again.
I returned to college to polish my skills further and advance my knowledge which led me into the world of medical assistance. Unfortunately, the position was heavily saturated and there was not a significant need for medical assistants at that time, but this insight into the medical field naturally led me to training for personal support work (PSW). I returned to school again as my thirst for knowledge continued and gain my PSW certificate. I worked as a PSW for four years gaining an invaluable experience and meeting interesting, compassionate clients.
My career journey took another turn when I encountered Ines at a mutual friend’s home. She informed me of her ambitious venture and interest to help the immigrant community. She inquired if I would be available and interested in helping in any capacity that I can. Due to my immense appreciation and admiration for herself along with our great work experience, I took this journey with her.
Now I am retiring after fourteen wonderful years at Immigrants Working Centre, working with the most dedicated, hard-working, loyal individuals I have ever met. I have learned beautiful life lessons from my co-workers, supervisors and managers along with the incredible experiences that I have shared with my clients. All of these opportunities but in particular my stint at the Immigrant Working Centre has shaped me into the woman I am today. I wish that this journey did not have to end, but I am so thankful for all the amazing years that this organization has provided me.”
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