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PACC Visit Adult Center Visit

On November 17th, Leontine and Ayanda spoke at PACC Adult Center, part of the Lester B. Pearson School Board. Many of the students in the audience had come to Montreal as immigrants or refugees themselves. The group seemed to identify with Ayanda's story as they were new arrivals in Canada, and were very moved by Leontine's story:

"I was very much touched with the stories from both individuals. I can definitely relate to their stories in another way. I came here as a refugee myself; my country is not a refugee country. But I was abused by my ex-husband and that caused me to run and seek refuge here in Canada. Both individuals need to be strong; especially the second individual (Leontine). God will see her through."

"Thank you for the information about refugees and immigration and thank you for the information that you shared about your lives. I’m really sad about the people who don’t like refugee people and I would like to take those people to the refugees’ countries and show them the problems. Also, I would like to teach them that refugees also have lives."

"Leontine, I love how you kept on fighting. Your courage to keep on fighting gives me courage. May God continue to bless you."

"It was sad to know the stories about these two people. But, it’s great that you are living your life. Thank you. You are brave people. Good luck!"

"Well, I’m coming from Greece because I’m tired to pay and pay and receive nothing even when I’ve go the choice to vote. My vote didn’t make any change at all. So, I relocated myself for my future. I want one day to stop the Greek government from stealing everything from Greek citizens."

"I come from Eritrea, which is located in East Africa. I wonder if you ever google my country’s history? There are a lot of obstacles there. Even at this moment, the government is being very abusive to its people. So, if you can find anyone who is from Eritrea (Asmara) and they can share their story—it could give more progress to change the government’s attitude. But, regarding your two stories, I personally got more ideas of being a better person. To achieve your goal is possible whenever you start living for tomorrow. Then you live like there is no tomorrow. You, the lady, you are very brave. Live for tomorrow. Forgive and forget, for there is something special out there for you. I am proud of you! You guys are very inspiring! Love, Linton."

"Leontine-I love how you fought and keep fighting. I really admire you for accepting your new family and helping each other. I am proud of you telling your story. I know how hard it must be for you. As Africans, we have the same past in stories. I would like your project to continue! Helen from Eritrea."

"I come from Ethiopia which is located on the coast of Africa. Leontine, you are a very educated and beautiful woman. Thank you very much for sharing your story and about your country."

"Leontine: Do you still want to go back to your country? Ayanda: if you were given a chance to choose another country than Canada, what would it be? why? I’m so proud of your guys! Keep it up!"

"I think the first presentation was well organized. Ayanda was sharing his experience with us and he is a patient person that had to wait for nine years! The second presentation was well presented. It is hard to live alone in a new country Leontine is a very brave person—and she should continue!! One thing I would like to change is that the Canadian government should help refugees to find them proper jobs."

"I’m from Morocco. I am an immigrant. What can I do to help reguees? What kind of contribution can I make?"

"I am from Cameroon, found in Africa. The presentation that I heard today really helped me, and I think it helped the other students too. It helped me to know what happened to other people. It helped me to know more about politics in other countries in Africa. In my country, the president ruled for 35 years and he is still the president of Cameroon today."

"Thanks Leontine for the possibility to discuss this important problem. Would you include, in your next project, a story about a refugee from Azerbajan. It is a country near the Caspian Sean and it had 500,000 refugees in 1990-1992. Now Azerbajan authorities chose a people from another ethnic group, which lives in the region!"

"Hi Leontine, you are incredible. I was watching you when the credits were rolling and you were smiling the whole time. I am very grateful to hear your story. If you could come out of that! I hope everyone watches and learns from you. I often complain about the life I had back in Ghana and my life here in Canada. Watching your story made me change the way I see things. Thank you for opening my eyes. You are brave for all women."

"This is about my life in the past. I am from Afghanistan. I was young, 9 or 10 years, old when we left our country and moved to Pakistan. We stayed there for many years, then, fortunately, we found a chance to come to Canada. I don’t remember much about my past, but I have heard from my parents that they had a very difficult life. Now, when I have time, I search on the Internet. When I watch the war movies, it makes me feel really hopeless and I say thank God I am safe here in Canada. I am sad because I left my own country, but I feel it is better here in Canada. Forget the things which make you sad. But, never forget the things which make you glad."