At DIVERSEcity, we often share the incredible stories of the newcomers and diverse community members who we support as they build their life in Canada. Behind the scenes, the people of DIVERSEcity, many of whom are immigrants themselves, have their own lived experiences to share. DIVERSEcity would not be the community-building, charitable organization it is without the dedication and passion of our amazing employees and volunteers, who have shown us what resilience means during this ongoing pandemic.
In this week’s “People of DIVERSEcity” story, we talk to Nazia Kakar, employment specialist and team lead for specialized employment programs H.E.A.L. for Work and SAHARA. Originally from Afghanistan, Nazia moved to Canada in 1992 to join her husband. Nazia has been working at DIVERSEcity for almost seven years, but has been a part of the DIVERSEcity community for even longer as she volunteered with its English conversation circles and settlement programs before getting hired.
Let’s learn more about Nazia!
What is your professional and educational background?
I am a certified career development practitioner by profession and I have a degree in psychology with minors in both counselling and human development from SFU.
What do you like about working at DIVERSEcity?
I like that I’ve had the opportunity to work in different departments, take on various roles and wear different hats. This has resulted in gaining various types of skills and competencies.
And the people?
I like to work with inspirational colleagues from different cultural, educational and professional backgrounds. They motivate me to do my very best in all that I do.
Why did you choose to work in a sector that helps newcomers and underserved communities?
I enjoy working in this sector because of the sense of fulfillment and purpose I get from working with, and helping others reach their goals. I can feel and share their achievements and successes.
Although working in this sector can sometimes be a bit challenging, it offers a sense of responsibility and growth, as well as a chance to see the problems of our society, and what can be done to improve them.
What is your hope for the people you help?
I hope that they can be patient and kind to themselves. Things will work out for them, as long as they are moving forward and are putting in the effort and not giving up. We are here to help and support them.
What is your favourite season?
My favourite season is summer because it offers freedom and long days. I also like it because many of my favourite activities happen in the summer, like camping, nature walks and picnics with family.
What is your favourite dish?
My favourite food is called bolani. It is a stuffed flatbread, pan fried with a filling inside. It has a thin crust and can be stuffed with potatoes, leeks, pumpkin, chives or lentils. My two favourites are leeks and potatoes. You can enjoy them as appetizers with yogurt and spicy chutney.
What is one thing most people do not know about you?
My personality is very people oriented and social, however, I need quiet time on occasion to refresh and restore my energy. I get that by going out in nature.
Read more “People of DIVERSEcity” stories, shared weekly this fall 2021.