Q&A with Florisha Taneja

Florisha Taneja migrated to Canada from India in 2017.

Q: Who did you come with and who did you leave behind? Did anyone come ahead of you?

A: When I made the decision to migrate to Canada from my birth country, it was initially a very difficult choice. I came alone with no family or friends and no support system in place.

Q: What was the most difficult part about leaving?

A: The biggest challenge that I had was leaving my family. Until I received my visa, it wasn’t real to me, I hadn’t even ever been away from my family at that point. Once I opened my mail and found (my visa) has arrived, everything began to set in and the difficulties emerged. After time things became easier.

Q: What was your journey to this new country like? 

A: There have been many struggles throughout my journey, as there would be for anyone going to a new place. There was some initial culture shock, but this has now subsided and the experience has been a positive life-changing experience.

Q: Who was most helpful with getting you settled? 

A: When I first arrived in Canada, I came with confidence. Unfortunately, I had very little help at the beginning. Eventually I (made) some great friends and acquaintances and found help at the YMCA Nova Scotia Works Centre on Gottingen Street.

Q: Migration can be hard. Where did you find strength in difficult times? 

A: In order to get over the most challenging situations, I remained dedicated in my efforts to further both my educational and career goals. My strength came through focusing on my end goal. This was my job at IBM.

Q: What is the thing you are proudest of so far, and why? 

A: When I came to Canada I was determined to work for IBM. At first, I wasn’t sure how to go about it, but after finding the YMCA Nova Scotia Works on Gottingen, I received the advice, confidence and skills needed to achieve my goal.

Q: What advice would you give friends and family about whether or not they should come to Canada/Halifax? 

A: Come, but be prepared. Do your research and ask friends and family that may have gone through the process. You definitely need to know what is expected.

Q: How did you find out about the YMCA?

A: I found out about the YMCA centres through searching online for employment assistance centres.

Q: How has your experience been at the YMCA? 

A: The people have been very kind and welcoming, willing to help and encourage me in the areas I needed to focus on, to ensure success. I met David Leslie at orientation and he set me up with CCDP, Isaac Skeete, who was able to review my information and advise me on what services may be best suited to my needs. After this, I received skills training in networking, communication, and interviews from David who also connected me to IBM and referred me for a position. I was ecstatic the day I heard that they had selected me for the position!

Q: What would you like to do in the future? 

A: I want to come volunteer at the YMCA NS Works Centre on Gottingen Street and help David assist newcomers to Canada and then explore other opportunities to help the community.