Kristi Pinderi
Country of origin: 
Albania
Year of arrival to Canada: 
2017
Languages(s) speaks: 
Albanian, Italian
Education: 
BA in History
Occupation: 
TSW at Community Builders Group, Supportive and Affordable Modular Housing project (Canada)

Community Involvement:

Been actively involved in assisting and being a peer support for LGBTQ+ newcomers in Surrey.

Interest in the Advisory:

As an activist for LGBTQ rights I strongly believe that LGBTQ people should be very active in every possible body and advisory infrastructure to promote change and inclusion. Something where we should work more is to close the gap of services. For instance, 1 in 4 LGBTQ newcomers of British Columbia end up living in Surrey but almost every service for this community is in downtown Vancouver! 

Immigrant challenges:

Quite a few substantial challenges: finding an affordable house, finding a proper job that fits with your capacities and aspirations, finding friends and having a qualitative social life. And, of course, other practical challenges like: how to get a credit card without having a credit history first, or how to gain “Canadian experience”. I went through all this with my partner and we were warmly welcomed by different organizations and people who are passionate about other people. We were also impressed by local and federal social policies that make it a smooth transition.

Vision for Surrey:

I envision a city that embraces every citizen and celebrate diversity. A city that support even those who, for many different reasons, do not have equal opportunities; where people are not traveling hours every day in search for a better job but that live and work in Surrey and contribute in this city. I want it to be not only “The city where the future lives”, but also the city of the present: a beautiful city that meets the needs of people and at the same time protect its environment and its natural recourses.

Joined Surrey IAR: 2018