Meet your neighbour: Metro chats with refugees in Vancouver
Monday, January 4, 2016

Yasin Mussa is a busy, busy man. He works at a Coquitlam steel company, sits on the City of Surrey’s local immigration partnership, volunteers with a handful of organizations including the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. and lives in Surrey with his family – his mother and three school-aged siblings.

But what’s particularly remarkable about Mussa is the 21-year-old is doing all of this despite not finishing high school because of a clerical error when he came to Canada from Somalia via Eritrea as a refugee on June 8, 2010.

Mussa squeezed in a meeting with Metro on a Sunday afternoon after he volunteered to drop off a non-English speaker at the airport to help her navigate through YVR during the holiday rush.

His journey from Somalia began in 2003 when he and his brother and two sisters travelled to Eritrea to be with their mother, who left home a year prior to seek medication for a severe problem with her leg. Eritrea was safer than Somalia – “Life was OK, we were protected by the United Nations” – but his mother didn’t get any resolution for her medical problems.

Their family eventually was offered a spot in Canada and jumped at the opportunity. He recalls landing at the airport, not speaking English and with no idea where to go.

“It was horrifying,” he said. “The hard part in this country is if you don’t speak English, you’re not going anywhere.”

His fear dissipated somewhat when a volunteer for ISS of B.C. picked them up at the airport and took them to the Welcome House, where they stayed for 15 days before the volunteer helped them find an apartment.

 

Read full article here

Source: Metro News