Helping to build a welcoming & inclusive province: Gerry Mills

“This is an amazing place to work. I come up the back stairs every morning and as I walk in it’s a jolt of electricity. Okay, here we go!” That spirit and enthusiasm is indicative of the dedicated career of Gerry Mills, who has retired after 30 years in immigrant … Read more

Helping to build a welcoming & inclusive province: John Deans

John Deans was lying on the couch one day in 2015 when he heard an appeal on the radio for volunteers to help resettle Syrian refugees. “I’d never done anything like this,” he says. “I immediately called the 211 number, thinking I’d just help out a bit.” John was assigned … Read more

Helping to build a welcoming & inclusive province: Margaret Casey

Highly regarded Halifax physician Margaret Casey shares her medical expertise as an ISANS volunteer with International Medical Graduates (IMGs). Retired from active practice for 13 years, Margaret works with newcomers, helping them get licensed to practice in Nova Scotia. “I love talking about medicine but, more importantly, it’s been very … Read more

Helping to build a welcoming & inclusive province: Ali Al-Khazaali

From the insecurity of life in Iraq, to becoming a volunteer with Feed Nova Scotia, Ali Al-Khazaali’s journey through life has taken many different turns. Ali arrived in Nova Scotia in October 2017 with his wife, Aster, and twin seven-year-old boys, Ezzuilden and Mohammed. They had fled Iraq a few … Read more

Min Li

Min Li’s voyage to Nova Scotia from China was different than most new arrivals—she came by car. She and husband, Shiyuan, son Jack, now 10, and daughter Ryann, 3, had lived a short time in Seattle, Washington, and drove across the continent to arrive here in December 2016. Min had … Read more

Samson Woidgberiel

“Uncle Samson, do this. Uncle Samson, do that.” Those are magical words to Samson Woidgberiel, who arrived in Halifax as a refugee in 2016 to live with his sister and her family. She had already been living here for several years and she and her husband and four daughters, from … Read more

Aida Sairawan

When Aida Sairawan arrived in Montreal in February 2016, the Syria native was so captivated by the snow that she played outdoors for three days. It was -35 and despite wearing warm clothing she got sick. “I was excited,” she says, “but I was also scared.” Five years earlier, Aida, … Read more

Amardeep Sharma

When Amardeep Sharma speaks, enthusiasm about his new life in Canada is palpable. Living in Nova Scotia only since December 2016, he has already found a rewarding job as a human resources project coordinator at Delta Halifax hotel. Amardeep came here from Delhi, India, with his wife, Prajjalita, and their … Read more

Jahu Camara & James Boyle

Persecution because of her sexual orientation is why 20-year-old Jahu Camara fled to Canada, in October 2015, from her homeland of Gambia. She was supported by the Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia (RRANS), a non-profit society that assists “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people” in need … Read more

Wenche Gausdal & Settlement Staff

When Wenche Gausdal, ISANS Manager of Settlement and Community, heard about Syrian refugees coming to Canada, she reflected on an earlier experience– the 1999 Operation Parasol that settled 5,000 Kosovars fleeing war in their homeland. “A few of us who were involved asked what we learned. What was that all … Read more

Claudette Legault

Outgoing program director Claudette Legault’s path to ISANS can be traced to her childhood in a Northern Ontario mining community. “My parents never traveled, but I had a world view,” reflects Claudette. “You can’t grow up in a mining family and go through strikes and layoffs without having some sense … Read more